Lagos, Abuja, Rivers Lead States In ₦18 Billion Bank Fraud Loss

The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has released its 2023 Annual Fraud Landscape report, highlighting significant trends in financial fraud across the country.

According to the report, Lagos, Rivers States, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) topped the list for financial fraud incidents last year.

Naija News reports that the NIBSS data, published on its website, reveals that financial institutions in Nigeria lost approximately ₦17.67 billion to fraud in 2023.

 

Lagos experienced the highest fraud count and actual loss, accounting for 48% and 49%, respectively.

Despite efforts to curb these fraudulent activities, Lagos saw a marginal increase in cases from 45,952 in 2022 to 46,224 in 2023. However, it managed to reduce the value of losses from ₦9.9 billion in the previous year to ₦8.7 billion, marking a 12% decrease.

The report further indicates that Abuja and Rivers State also witnessed declines in fraud counts, but the actual value of money stolen in Abuja soared by 73.17%, reaching ₦994 million.

Ogun and Kaduna States remain hotbeds for financial fraud, though they reported a decrease in fraud counts.

Interestingly, while most states saw a decline in fraud cases, Lagos and Kano experienced an increase, with Cross River recording the highest jump in actual loss value—an alarming 2,202% increase to ₦1.04 billion.

The report also highlights the rise of Internet banking fraud, which surged by 325% in 2023, primarily driven by a ₦2.4 billion internal fraud involving corporate accounts at a major bank.

Mobile channels remained the most preferred medium for fraudsters, registering a 5% increase from the previous year.

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Amid these challenges, the NIBSS noted a six per cent overall decrease in total fraud counts to 95,620, but actual losses from fraud surged by 23%. The report stresses the importance of continuous vigilance and enhanced security measures by financial institutions.

The United States emerged as the top foreign location where Nigerian banks’ customers were defrauded, followed by the United Kingdom and Ireland. Social engineering was identified as the predominant method employed by fraudsters.

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