Ejigi was recently scammed of ₦51,000. He had seen a post on Twitter from one of the fintech companies he has an account with about a giveaway and decided to participate in it.

That would be his first time ever. Just after he liked the post, the handle reached out to him with a link, and told him the steps he needed to follow to win the giveaway.

Unsuspecting Ejigi clicked on the link, which requested for the sign-in details to his account, but nothing came up. A few moments later, he got another message from the same handle asking him to make a deposit of ₦50,000 into his account as it was one of the requirements that would qualify him for the giveaway.

Prior to that, he had just a thousand naira in his account. Excitedly, Ejigi transferred ₦50,000 to his account, making his total balance ₦51,000. Right after his deposit, he received a debit alert of ₦51,000. This was when it dawned on him that he had just been scammed. Two months later, Ejigi is yet to get his money back. You may have had a similar experience as Ejigi or know someone who has. 

There has been a recent spike in the stories about cyber scams, particularly relating to financial apps and accounts. These stories range from the young woman who was unknowingly communicating with a fake help handle of a fintech company on Twitter, to the one whose account was hacked and wiped through a phishing link to the story of Ejigi above.

In today’s world, where most of our daily activities are conducted online, protecting our personal information and financial data has become more critical than ever. Scammers and hackers are always on the lookout for opportunities to steal passwords and exploit unsuspecting users to gain access to sensitive information to their accounts.

Hence, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to secure your passwords and financial apps. 

Common scam methods:

There are quite a number of methods used by scammers to gain access to personal information of victims. Here are some of them:

Phishing Emails/Messages: Phishing emails are fake emails that look like they come from a legitimate source, such as a bank or a financial institution, but are designed to trick you into giving away your login credentials or personal information. Messages like this always contain malicious links or attachments, which the scammers use to get every information that they need.

Fake Social Media Handles/CS Representatives: For companies with social media presence, scammers usually create a misleading social media help account, which they often use to reach out to and scam unsuspecting victims who open up to them when they have issues relating to their account.

Scam Calls: With this type of scam, the caller pretends to be from your bank or a fintech company, claiming that your account has been compromised and that they want to help you fix it. They request for your personal information and sometimes a one-time password (OTP), which will be sent to your phone. Once they have all this information, they can then hijack your account and take out all the funds you have. 

Here are some tips to help you stay safe from scammers:

  1. Use strong passwords: A strong password is one that is at least 8 characters long and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It is important to avoid using easily guessable words or phrases such as your name, date of birth, or common words like “password” or “123456.” Use different passwords for different accounts, and change them regularly.
  1. Enable two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a second form of authentication, such as a fingerprint scan, a text message, or an app notification. This makes it harder for scammers to gain access to your accounts, even if they have your password.
  1. Verify company’s handle and links: Before you click on any link or share any information with anyone, verify that the links are safe and secure and that the account you’re interacting with is a trusted one.
  1. Report fake CS representatives and malicious activities: If a customer representative requests for your login credentials, ensure you report the situation to the company; they or the channel may have been compromised. In no context is a customer representative allowed to request for a user’s login credentials.
  1. Keep your apps and devices updated: Updates to your apps and devices often contain security patches that address vulnerabilities and bugs that can be exploited by scammers. Make sure to keep your apps and devices up to date to ensure that you have the latest security features.
  1. Be wary of phishing emails and scams: Threat actors leverage on a range of human emotions such as curiosity, urgency, fear, greed, and even trust to harvest and steal login credentials. Be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages and do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources. 
  1. Use a reputable antivirus software: Antivirus software can help protect your computer or mobile device from malware, which can be used to steal your passwords or financial data. Use a reputable antivirus software and keep it up to date.
  1. Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure and can be easily hacked by scammers. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when accessing sensitive information or financial

Remember, Risevest will never ask you for your password, pin or other sensitive information required to gain access to your account. In such instances, reach out to our verified handles on Twitter (@Risevest), Instagram (@Rise.Vest), or email [email protected].