Weeks ago we made a post in our Facebook Group Citizens ConnectNG about the Central Bank of Nigeria mandating Deposit Money Banks (DMB) and Mobile Money Operators (MMO) to establish #FraudDesk to receive and respond quickly to fraud complaints from customers to reduce electronic fraud in the Banking Industry.
Since the Fraud Desk circular took effect on the 1st of July 2015, there is little or no awareness that there is a dedicated system to address electronic fraud. Most Banks simply ask their customers to report to Law enforcement agents when they log fraud complaints.
When Citizens Connect and advice Centre made a post about the Fraud Desk in our Facebook Group, we received several emails regarding electronic Fraud transactions and provided contact emails of fraud desk of Bank, with guides based on the CBN circular establishing fraud desk to customers. Surprisingly, most of the banks were uncooperative, they only comply when you quote the circular reminding them about the provisions of the Fraud Desk. So far, we have got testimonials of people who have recalled their funds while some are still pending investigation but why are the banks hesitant to assist customers? Why are the banks refusing to place “Post no Debit” restrictions on Fraudulent account? Why is there no awareness on the work of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) and the CBN Circular?
As a citizens’ helpdesk, Citizen Connect would like to create more awareness on the Fraud Desk and hope that the CBN monitors and enforces the Fraud Desk System. The Circular establishing the Fraud desk states that Banks must adequately staff the Fraud desk with personnel who are trained with the requisite skills with emerging fraud trend on various electronic payment channel, I am afraid this is lacking as most of the Fraud team members sound oblivious of the circular let alone understanding how to manage the situation, they simply ward customers off by referring them to the law enforcement agents for some matters that could have been nipped in the bud if they followed the CBN guidelines for addressing such issues.
According to the CBN circular, at the minimum the Fraud Desk should offer the following services:
1. Provide support to customers at all times with a minimum of 10 dedicated phone lines, manned and available at all times to customers. Observation: How many banks complied? what you find is the same customer service attendants who nothing about the fraud desk, they just simply tell customers report to the police with no further action. They don’t even place a “post no debit” and fraudsters end up accessing victims account.
2. Make available the option of calls to contact centre in respect of fraud alert or complaints, to be redirected to fraud desk.
Observation: I think most banks naturally adopted this option of calling the call centre instead of dedicated fraud desk numbers but most customer service hardly escalates to the fraud team, they simply give a hush response and pass bulk to the law enforcement. Very unhelpful and discouraging, you want customers deposit, yet you care less when they lose money.
3. Block and/or place Post No Debit (PND) restrictions on accounts upon receiving of fraudulent complaints.
Observation: Some banks comply, there are cases of people who alerted the banks and they did nothing until we followed up copying their management.
4. Receive customers Stop Transactions instructions to block their account through shortcodes services provided to the customers by the banks.
Observation: Do you know the stop transaction shortcode for your bank?
5. Log all customers fraud alert and/or complaint and escalate in line with internally predefined escalation path.
6. Submit reports to (NIBSS) Plc on fraud information logged by the Fraud Desk.
7. Honour “Hold” restriction by NIBSS with respect to fraud matters and all NIBSS permission to view details on logged transactions
8. Sensitise Customers on EFraud and Fraud Desk services.
Observation: Banks can’t be bothered with this, apparently they believe it is not their primary assignment, most banks don’t even publish email addresses of the fraud desk on their website. The email address for most fraud desk is Frauddesk@bankdomainname.com or simply ask when next you visit. I will rather you send an email so you can easily track. Phone Call is useful when you want to immediately block your account, after calling still send a mail.
9. Manage/Resolve all intra-bank fraud issues leveraging on enterprise
10. Maintain a mail group mapped to the members of the fraud desk team.
The Nigeria Inter-bank Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) is responsible for coordinating all Fraud desk across all banks, mobile money operators, switches and payment service providers. NIBSS avails deposit money bank with efraud portal and instant payment platforms that allow banks to initiate “block” or “hold” funds electronic messages from a bank’s fraud desk to the other.
As with many regulations and circulars in Nigeria, implementation is the problem, we need to create more awareness on the services the fraud desk provide and ensure they are accessible. We are doing our bit to see that citizens have access to information they need to improve service delivery and we hope that the Banks will be more helpful in curbing the rate of electronic banking fraud.
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