ACAEBIN advocates more investments to check cyber-fraud – Felix Igbinosa

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The latest banking fraud and forgeries report by FITC for the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 has seen the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) call for more investments in dealing with risks associated with cyber fraud.

The report by FITC revealed that bank customers in Nigeria lost a total of N472 million to fraudsters in Q1 2023. The situation when compared with Q4 2022 figure of N3.18 billion meant that fraudsters carted about 85.13 per cent across banking platforms in the period under review.

The FITC data also revealed that there was a 79.44 per cent decrease in the total amount involved in fraud cases in Q1 2023 compared to the previous quarter. The sum decreased from N12.58 billion to N2.59 billion. Furthermore, the total number of fraud cases reported in Q1 2023 also declined by 14.07 per cent.

According to the report, a total of 12,553 cases were reported in the first quarter of this year compared with 14,609 cases recorded in the preceding quarter. The numbers in Q1 2023 reveal that of all the fraud activities, mobile, computer/web, and PoSvwere the top three channels with the highest number of fraud occurrences and this is consistent with the trend from the previous quarter. 

“For Q1 2023 under review, an analysis of the magnitude-based ranking of fraud categories shows that mobile fraud has the highest ranking which accounts for N1.1 billion (42.72 per cent), and this is followed by the Computer/Web fraud category at N646 million (24.99 per cent). This was followed by POS Fraud at N450 million (17.41 per cent) and fraudulent withdrawals at N139 million (5.36 per cent),” FITC stated in the report.”

From the total amount lost in Q1 2023, the data also reveals that mobile fraud accounts for 34.07 per cent at N161 million followed by Computer/web fraud accounting for 27.69 per cent at N130 million and fraudulent withdrawals representing 24.72 per cent at N116 million.

While stating that the overall decrease noted in the fraud incidences, the amount involved, and the actual amount lost was quite commendable for the banking institutions, FITC said it was necessary for banks to further strengthen their internal control measures for improved efficiency in pre-empting fraud activities and ultimate prevention of fraud.

It added that there is also a need to support the internal control measures through increased sensitization of customers on the prevalence of fraud activities and how to protect themselves from it.

Corroborating FITC, the Chairman, ACAEBIN, Felix Igbinosa, speaking to Daily Sun at the sidelines of the association’s 55th Quarterly General Meeting themed; Assessing Organisational risks with a macro and global economic lens – The role of Internal Audit, in Lagos recently, said that as processes and operations are becoming more complex, new risks are emerging and it is auditors that are tasked with identify these risks.

Igbinosa noted that the Association will seek ways to improve cooperation and information sharing among members, especially in the area of fraud and will continue to partner with the relevant law enforcement agencies while also closing gaps that create room for these criminals to take advantage of the system.

“As technology is improving, the risk of cyber security is heightened and so the level of risks for banks is on the increase. Hence, what is needed is to invest more and try to protect our financial institutions”, Igbinosa said.

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