Dear Motorists, fleet operator, auto enthusiast, auto industry stakeholders and our general reading public in Nigeria and rest of the world, please be aware that there are fraudsters out there, bent on nicking your hard earned money.
These people sound plausible and honest; they are not. Their mode of operation is to send you a text message, pretending to be your banker.
How they Operate
They send you an alert via your phone or e-mail to say your bank details need to be updated or there was an unusual activities on your account or even that your ATM has been blocked “due to BVN error (in case you bank with a Nigerian bank).
One of such recent messages passed to us by readers, which we investigated reads thus: “ATM BLOCK: Dear Customer, your ATM has been blocked due to BVN System Error. Quickly call us @08169473625 to reactivate it under 24 hours.”
The above type of message emanates from crooks, thieves, fraudsters, popularly known in Nigeria as “419ners”.
If you are in any doubt, visit your bank’s customer service. They will tell you what you need to know. In case of Nigeria, going to the police might not yet be effective due to the yet to finish corruption battle being waged by the current administration. After all, the telephone number quoted above should be enough to nab the culprits, since every mobile telephone number in Nigeria is registered to an owner, whose DNA details are imputed into central data accessible to the police.
Do not take law into your own hands. But talk to your bank. And be warned: Never disclose your bank details over the phone. If you call the above mentioned number (before the crook breaks the sim, as we expect after this publication), what you will be asked are:
- What bank do you keep an account with?
- What type of ATM Card have you? Is it Mastercard or visa?
- Read the long numbers in front of your ATM card and so on…
No bank will ask for the foregoing information.
Management of Motoring World International understands that, to some people, this topic is a slight departure from motoring. But truth is that millions of motorists, fleet operators, auto enthusiasts and auto industry stakeholders, who form bulk of our readers, keep bank accounts.
We made this discovery. And we owe our esteem readers duty to disseminate it.
Please do not fall a victim.