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  Forged /spurious bank drafts and checks: How Nigerian banks aid scammers

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 WHEN A CHECK/DRAFT IS PAID INTO YOUR ACCOUNT

They say it’s a rule from CBN. When a check/draft is paid into your account, especially from someone using another bank, you will receive a credit alert.

 

The credit alert will be there as an SMS alert, email alert and if you even login to your Internet banking area, you see it there. The name of the sender is not included.

 

THE STATUS OF YOUR CREDIT

The reality is that, the credit will never be added to your available balance. The book balance would be different from the available balance and you won’t be able to use it until after 48 hours. This would give your bank the time to confirm the cheek/draft. If it is genuine, the money would be added to your available balance. If it’s fake, the money would be removed from your account.

 

Sadly, most members of the public are not aware of this fact. Once many people see credit alerts from their banks, they believe it’s real money and they fall into traps. And scammers know that most people don’t know.

 

HOW BANKS AID AND ABET SCAMMERS

Some banks will send credits alert to you, as soon as a check is deposited into your account. This is wrong, and it’s the loophole that the scammers capitalize on. Why should banks send credits alerts for checks that have not been cleared (checks that have not been confirmed)?

 

It currency takes up to 48 hours to confirm a check or draft and banks should not send alerts to their customers until that is done. So, if the checks are later proven to be forged/spurious, the money would then be removed from your account. Many customers are not aware of this.

 

Sane employees of sane banks, know that it saves a lot of things, when a check/bank draft is confirmed before alerting customers. If the one who pays, or the payee is really in a hurry, then they should look for other ways to transfer money. Yes, there are other and better ways to transfer money… And insisting on draft/check should raise suspicion.

 

A bank that alerts customers without confirming a check is really adding and abetting scammers.

 

SCAMMERS ARE DIFFICULT TO CATCH

Yes, scammers are difficult to catch. Be suspicious of anyone who changes their numbers too often. Once they dupe someone and the person is threatening them, they remove the SIM and that person can never reach them again.

 

A scammer can pay one-year house rent and spend only a few months  - only to change accommodations. Changing offices is not a big deal to them. They try their best to erase all traces to them and they do their best not to come in your way again, forever.

 

They’re good at forging documents and using fake addresses and fake things. Until you’re convinced that you’ve been duped, they’ll be giving you guarantee that all is well, and no problem and anything going wrong would be corrected.

 

Meanwhile, while they’re fooling you that there’s no problem, they’re packing away from their locations.

 

I can tell you that some (and most of these scammers) are married with children. Some of them are elderly people. Some of them are really gentlemen in society and they still dupe people.

 

They know about the loopholes in Nigerian laws and they know that if you can even catch one of them, you can never catch the rest of them.

 

WHAT NIGERIAN BANKS AND CBN CAN DO

CBN should instruct Nigerian banks that they should stop giving alerts to customers until the bank drafts and checks paid into their accounts, are confirmed to be valid. If a customer or those who may think they’re in a hurry, then they should use an electronic method or direct cash deposit to pay.

 

Yes, if they think they cannot wait for 48 hours or you can’t wait for 48 hours, for the bank draft to be cleared, then they should use another means of payment.

 

In this digital/electronics payment age, when banking technology has advanced so much, how can someone insist on using a bank draft or check to pay people?

 

Bank officials that don’t alert customers or put “locked” credits in their accounts until the checks have been cleared, are saving lots of lives. Bank officials that send credits alerts, when checks/drafts have not been cleared, are really not doing the right thing.

 

When banks start to refuse to credit or alert any customers (based on drafts or checks brought in their names), until the checks and the drafts are cleared and confirmed to be genuine, then scammers who forge checks and drafts will go out of the business. That’s the only way.

 

WHAT SCAMMERS DO AND HOW THEY BEHAVE

When people want to scam you, they usually pose as honest, dependable and trustworthy people. They do everything in their capacity to prove to you that you’re safe when doing business with them.

 

They’ll always tell you that they’ve been duped in the past, and they don’t want to be duped again. They’ll be asking you to confirm that you’re honest and safe to do things with.

 

They pretend to be very religious.

 

They pose like lawyers, accountants, bishops, imams, etc. They claim to be holding very high positions in society. They claim to have international experience and connections. They “prove” to be close friends with those who’re working at Chevron, Head of Bureau the Change or a senior nurse at LUTH. etc.

 

They put on corporate dresses and use cars to deceive people.

 

They pretend to be who they’re not. They assume titles of the positions you respect. They spend a lot of energy, days and resources (which could have been channeled into other productive things) trying to dupe you.

 

The best way they get you is through someone you know very well. They may be a family member, a church member, a neighbor, a friend, a customer, etc. Someone you think you can trust. They will come to you through that person, as the one who introduces them to you. You won’t know that the person has a money sharing deal with the scammers.

 

The premise is: The person you know, who introduces others to you, usually for business or contracts or projects, is presumed by you, as someone who will not deliberately betray you, because you’ve been dealing together for some time.

 

Some of them may call you through the phone number of the person you know, who introduces you to them.

 

Sometimes, they insist on using drafts or checks only, to pay you, for a flimsy reason. No matter how, they won’t give up on you until they succeed in duping you.

 

You won’t know what people are capable of doing, until you find yourself at their mercy.

 

The best thing is not to fall into their traps in the first place.

 

 

HOW THE PUBLIC CAN PREVENT THIS SCAM

One of the most effective ways to stop these scoundrels from their usual business and from destroying people’s life, is to create awareness and educate the public on how to guard themselves against these people.

 

1.         No matter what they say… No matter what they claim to be… No matter where they come from… No matter how they try to convince you… NEVER NEVER accept bank draft or check payment from anybody or any company or organization. Never allow such a thing to be used to pay money into your account.

 

2.         If no-one can do business with you unless they use a check or a bank draft, please forget about that business, no matter how “safe,” attractive or lucrative it may be.

 

3.         If they cannot pay by cash or electronic money transfer, then they should forget about doing business with you. Or they can use the draft to pay one of their own people, and then the person can pay you with cash or electronic transfer.

 

4.         Prevention is better than cure. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry. It’s better not to make money or not to do business, than to do what you will regret for the rest of your life.

 

5.         If you must accept a bank draft or a check, please disregard any alerts that come to you in any form. Wait for at least, 72 business hours, and then, contact your account officer to confirm if the money from that check has been cleared and added to your available balance. You must ensure that you are able to use that money before you deliver anything to those who used the checks/drafts to pay.

 

Beware of anyone making it seem to be in a hurry to do business with you. If they’re really in a hurry, then they must use another means other than a bank draft or check to pay you. Never release anything or send anything until you’re able to confirm that you’re completely safe.

 

Please save people from penury and financial ruin. Save them from pains and losses. Share this information on websites, social media, WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram and Facebook groups.

 

Forward it to your exchangers and their customers and all those who deal in goods and services in return for payment. You don’t know whether the next person you’ll save is your loved one. Save someone today with this information.

 

Thanks for reading….

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