A recent report by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has shown that a whopping sum of N6.2 billion was lost to cyber crimes in Nigeria in 2014.
An official of the Bank Fraud Section of the commission, Mr Ibrahim Shazali, disclosed the figure in Ilorin on Tuesday at the ongoing Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) workshop for financial journalists.
Shazali, who said the figure was grossly higher than the N485 million that was lost through the same channels in 2013, noted that Point of Sales (PoS), ATMs and mobile banking are the major avenues where the cyber crimes were being committed.
According to him, while the value of cyber crimes had been growing exponentially, it is comforting that the value of fraudulent transactions was less than one per cent of the total transactions.
“This should not, however, lead to premature sighs of relief as the success rate of attempted fraudulent transactions rose from a mere three per cent to 80 per cent in the space of just one year,” he said.
The EFCC official said that although banks experienced more external than internal frauds, the actual loss to internal frauds was always far higher than those of external frauds.
He said the lack of a well-defined legal framework for prosecuting cyber crimes and financial frauds had led to poor success rate in the fight against the crimes.
Shazali said of the 1,461 suspected fraud cases reported in 2014, only fraudsters in 41 or three per cent of the cases were apprehended.
He said that it had finally dawned on global financial and business leaders that cyber crime was not merely a technology issue, but at the heart of it.
He said, “For the fight against electronic attacks to be effective, it is necessary to determine where exactly we need to focus our energies.
“In other words, it is not enough to have the tools to fight the problem, we must also know where and how to use them.
“Cyber crime is especially devastating because many times victims are completely unaware of the fact that they are being targeted and they do not only lose money, but also sensitive customer or organisational data.”