How to Avoid Financial Scams

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With the development of technology in the life of a modern person, new financial opportunities have appeared — managing accounts at a distance, online payment for purchases, contactless payments via phone, and much more. Unfortunately, the ingenuity of cyber scammers does not stand still — attackers come up with new ways of deception. In order not to fall for the tricks of scammers, you need to remember the simple rules of financial security.

Phone Scammers

If you receive a call from a bank and are asked to provide personal data or information about a card/account, be vigilant, these may be scammers! Attackers use special technologies and the official bank number is displayed on the screen of your phone. They may call you by your first and last name and ask for secret card or account information. For instance, to stop a suspicious operation.


Remember that bank employees do not ask for personal data or information about the card and account. If they call with questions like this, they are scammers. To prevent this from happening, follow the instructions:


  • Do not tell or enter a PIN code, a three-digit code on the back of the card, or a one-time password from SMS.
  • Do not dial any combinations on your phone, and do not follow links.
  • Hang up the phone. Call the bank at the official number — it is on the website or on the back of the card.
  • Dial the number yourself on the phone keypad. Do not call back, as this can again lead to scammers.

Financial Fraud

How to recognize scammers? What to do if you are still scammed? How to protect yourself and your family? Most likely, you have already asked yourself one of these questions. We have prepared a memo:


  • Examine the ATM. There should be no strange documents on the card capture reader, the keyboard should not wobble.
  • Cover the keypad with your hand when typing the PIN code.
  • Connect mobile banking and SMS notifications.
  • If you make purchases via the internet, do not tell anyone the secret code from SMS.
  • Never lose sight of your card.


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You have been robbed: what to do?

Three simple steps in case of illegal charging off the money from your bank card:


  1. Call the bank (the number is on the back of the card or the main page of the bank’s website) and block the card.
  2. Request an account statement and write a statement of disagreement with the operation.
  3. File a police report.

Black Creditors

Do you know who has the right to issue loans in Nigeria? And how to distinguish illegal creditors from legal ones? Only the following organisations can issue credits and loans permanently:


  • banks;
  • microfinance organisations (MFIs);
  • credit consumer cooperatives;
  • pawn shops.


They must have special permission to do this.

Who are black creditors?

If a company doesn’t have a permit or licence, and still attracts customers, poses as a licenced organisation, and lends to consumers, then it is an illegal (or black) lender. Illegal lenders can act in different ways. For instance, to issue loans at very high-interest rates, but not to resort to outright crime. And they can use criminal schemes to fraudulently seize the money and property of clients.

How to Avoid Financial Scams

How do black lenders cheat customers?

Often, borrowers do not suspect that they have an illegal organisation in front of them. Here are three of the most popular schemes by which scammers attract inattentive customers.

1.     Loan prepayment

The lender asks to pay for a credit history check or insurance, takes a commission for issuing a loan, offers to pay for notary services or a membership fee for joining a cooperative. The client gives the money — and the “assistant” disappears.

2.     Data usage

The client brings a full package of documents to the organisation. Fraudsters can take out a loan on their behalf or cancel their accounts.

3.     Doubtful papers

Fraudsters can replace the contract and give the client other conditions to sign, where, for instance, the return period is not indicated. This allows them to claim the full amount with interest the very next day.


If you are offered suspiciously favourable terms, make sure that the contract really indicates all the promises that the advertisement states. Do not take a loan if the wording is ambiguous or contradicts what is written in the advertisement. If necessary, consult with a lawyer.

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