Fake credit alert is a prevalent fraud in Nigeria. In this type of fraud, you would receive a credit alert for payment of a service or item you sold, but the money would not appear in your bank account. It can be disheartening to discover that you were the victim of a bogus credit alert. To avoid becoming a victim of this plague, which is growing increasingly widespread in Nigeria, we’ll provide you guidance on how to verify the veracity of a credit alert in this piece.
How To Identify Fake Credit Alert In Nigeria
We’ll review how to identify a bogus credit warning in Nigeria below.
- Check Your Account’s BalanceYou can verify your account balance using your bank’s mobile banking app, internet banking portal, or USSD code to see if a credit alert you received for a transaction is real. As an alternative, you can contact your account manager and request your current bank balance. A fake credit alert will never have any effect on the amount of your account. You must know the precise amount of your last known available balance to assess whether a credit transaction into your account was successful.
- Check Your Email Inbox
Another approach to spot bogus credit alerts is to examine the email address you used to sign up for bank email alerts. If you signed up for email notifications from your bank, you should expect to receive notices for each transaction. However, be sure that the email address used to send the credit alert to your email is one that is associated with your bank. Scammers sometimes try to fool you by sending you an email with a similar address to your bank. If you are unsure of the email address associated with your bank, you can visit their website to validate it.
- Check Your Available Balance In The Alert
Examine the available balance section of the notice to determine whether the bank credit alert you received is genuine. A true credit alert would normally include the current balance of your bank account. As an example, consider the following: If your bank account balance was ₦625,000 and ₦75,000 was transferred to it, your balance on the credit notification for the transaction should be ₦700,000 (according to the CBN’s directive to Nigerian banks, you may observe some deductions, such as ₦50 for financial transactions above ₦10,000). As a result, based on the example given, if the credit notification you receive does not include ₦700,000 (after the deductions indicated above), it is a forgery.
- Use The Closest Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
Take your debit card to a local automated teller machine (ATM), input it, and check your account balance to see if it was indeed credited. If your available balance remains the same as when it was last known, the credit alert was a hoax.
- Look Out For Irregularities In The Credit Alert
Even while phony credit notifications seek to mimic legitimate credit warnings, a close analysis uncovers key discrepancies. To begin, ensure that the sender ID on the SMS matches the one on the real credit alert from your bank. If the sender ID differs from the one used by your bank, it should inform you that the communication is bogus. Check to see if the sender ID is capitalized or lowercase. For example, if you have a First Bank of Nigeria account, “FIRSTBANK” would be the acceptable sender ID for a credit alert. When you receive a credit alert, it is a dead giveaway that an SMS is phony and fraudulent if it comes from “First Bank,” “fbn,” or another similar sender.
Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation errors that stand out should also be avoided. If the credit warning has cut-off sentences, misspellings, poor grammar, unusual language use, or strange sentence patterns, it is a fake. Compare the differences between the strange alert you received and the legitimate credit alert alerts you have previously received.
How To Avoid Being Scammed By Fraudulent Credit Alert
Here are some crucial tips to prevent falling victim to bogus bank credit alerts:
Provide Accurate Information
You are usually required to enter your account number to get paid for the goods or services you deliver. You should be wary of anyone who requests your phone number or email address in addition to money, as neither is required for a payment to be transferred into your account.
Visit Bank Or Call Customer Care
Additionally, ensure that you have access to your account’s contact details so that you can obtain confirmation if needed. It may also be useful to have the phone number of your bank’s operations officer, manager, or customer service agents. You can always go to your bank’s website to get contact information for people who can help you in situations such as the likelihood of a fraudulent credit alert.
Apply For Bank USSD Services
As previously stated in this piece, you can use your bank’s USSD code to verify the balance of your bank account. For the USSD service, you would need to file a formal application to the bank. If you haven’t already, please do so to be able to ascertain whether a transaction has shown in your bank account or not at any time.
Download And Activate The Bank App
Another critical step you should do is to install your bank’s mobile app on your phone to immediately confirm the legitimacy of a credit alert. To use the mobile banking service, you must first apply. You can use the mobile app to confirm the credit alert at any time, including late at night or on the weekend, when it may be difficult to reach bank staff.
In conclusion, fake credit alerts are prevalent in Nigeria, and it is essential to be vigilant when receiving alerts. Always check the sender’s name, and the content of the message, verify the payment in your account balance, be wary of urgent payment requests, and contact your bank or payment platform if you suspect a fake alert. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry.