Coming on the backdrop of rising claims by different individuals that cyber criminals had withdrawn money from their accounts without their ATM cards, indications were rife at the weekend that cyber thieves, know in the local parlance as ‘Yahoo Boys’ have taken their criminal enterprise a notch higher by now hacking into the account numbers of online shoppers to use their accounts to shop.
All the account owner will be getting is alerts Most of the banks spoken to by Sunday Telegraph confirmed the development, saying the target of the cyber thieves is mainly online shoppers.
The lenders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, insisted that the criminal innovation is not due any failure in the security chips built in the Credit Card (ATM Cards), adding that it is only possible with the collaboration with an insider in the banks and the online shopping firms. In a post on his Facebook wall, the Head Corporate Communication, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Femi Babafemi said: “Our ATM cards are no longer as safe as our banks would want us to believe.
Criminals can now draw money from your accounts, yes, even from ATM machines without knowing your secret 4-digit pin number. All they need now is the 16-digit number boldly printed on the cover of your card and the 3-digit open pin at the back.
This means it’s not enough to keep a 4-digit secret pin as the banks will make us believe. I have a case I’m dealing with at the moment. So, this is a firsthand alert. You either keep your cards totally away from any other contact or you cut off the 16-digit printed on them so that nobody can copy them.
Without that portion, the card will still work.” Sunday Telegraph investigation further revealed that this fraud has been on for a long time unknown to the general public. Ololade Bashirat, a victim of this crime said it happened to her once so since then she decided not to own an ATM card.
She said: “This problem has been going on for a while now and people are not doing anything about it. I experienced this thing once and am not praying to experience it again, hence I decided not to own an ATM card, I woke up one morning and received an alert that I have withdrawn N250,000, I was confused because I knew I didn’t withdraw that much the last time I went to the ATM machine so I immediately went to the bank and I was told that someone transferred the money to his/ her account; honestly I did all I could do but here I am and definitely not with the money, so it happens and I just don’t understand why they insist that we should never tell anyone our pin when they can get access to our money.”
Also, a source said stealing money from people’s account without the ATM card is possible using the first four num- bers of the 16 digits number at the back of the ATM card or the last four numbers for this transaction.
According to the source, before the fraudsters were using the first seven numbers of the 16 digits number to do the transaction and according to this guy he said it is mostly used to shop online as some shopping sites request for the numbers.
The source further Sunday Telegraph that the first four numbers, the last four numbers and the three digit number at the back of the ATM card shows certain details of the owner of that particular account, but he said that it is impossible to do this if you have a bank verification number because it also protects your account from being hacked as he said everything is all about hacking. Reacting to the development, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Office (PPRO), Mr. Chika Oti, said that the Command has not received such complaint from victims.
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