Customers of ECOBANK Warned Against Rising Digital Fraud

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Ecobank Ghana Managing Director, Dan Sackey has cautioned customers to be on high alert as digital fraudsters turn attention on bank customers across the country. 

Speaking at this year’s Ecobank Day event in Accra, Dan Sackey noted that as banking and financial services get more digital the mobile phone and the sensitive information on it, relating to bank account have become similar to cheque books and bank books, so customers need to guard every bank account related information on their mobile phones “just as you used to guard your cheque books and bank books.”

He stated that it has become critical for bank customers to be vigilant because there is a fast-growing trend of fraudsters targeting bank customers via digital platforms and an increasing number of unsuspecting customers are falling victim to such fraudsters.

Digital fraudsters used to target mainly mobile money customers, but since July this year, when the Bank of Ghana asked all banks to ensure that all bank customers have linked their Ghana Cards to their bank accounts, the fraudsters have shifted their attention to bank customers.

Their main modus operandi is to call unsuspecting bank customers and pretend to help them to link their Ghana Cards to their bank accounts. In the process they ask for sensitive information such as ATM Card Number and PIN, OTP (one time PIN), Bank Account Number, CCV Code, online transaction codes and others.

Customers who lose guard and hand over such sensitive information on phone to the fraudsters only get to know they have been defrauded when they start receiving SMS notifications of withdrawals and transfers from their bank accounts into unknown mobile money wallets.

Customers of several banks, including some customers of Ecobank, have fallen victim to this kind of fraud between July, 2022, when the Ghana Card linkage to bank account begun, and now.

At the Ecobank Day event therefore, Dan Sackey cautioned Ecobank customers to remain vigilant and not fall prey to fraudsters, who are currently on the loose and defrauding unsuspecting customers, “especially as we enter the festive season of Christmas and new year.”

“Customers should never give out any sensitive information relating to their bank accounts, debit or credit cards, OTP or PIN. It does not matter how convincing, professional, or genuine the callers may sound,” he said.

According to the Ecobank Ghana MD, just last week, there was a message making the rounds on WhatsApp platforms about fraudsters using an Ecobank landline to call customers and defraud them.

“Let me say emphatically that those numbers are not Ecobank numbers. The Truecaller identification could be as a result of some victims who have saved those numbers as Ecobank lines, after receiving initial calls from the fraudsters,” he cautioned.

Dan Sackey urged customers to always visit an Ecobank branch or call 0800003225 when in doubt about any call purporting to be from an Ecobank staff.

Decline of Transactions

Meanwhile, following Dan Sackey’s caution, the bank has issued an official caution notice to customers informing them that henceforth, some card transactions on certain third-party platforms (websites and apps) will be declined as a measure to protect customers from fraud.

Ecobank has identified some particular platforms as channels often used by fraudsters to defraud Ecobank customers, so the decline measure will by and large protect customers funds and accounts from be depleted by fraudsters.

The bank is also assuring customers that it will continue to explore other innovative ways to further protect them from fraudsters.

Meanwhile, customers are being further cautioned to verify third-party websites and apps before loading their card information on those platforms.

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