BVN Scams. Can you be Scammed through BVN? Here’s a True Story

BVN Scams in Nigeria. What can a scammer do with your BVN? Find out in detail.

What Happens When Scammers Get Your BVN? Are BVN Scams possible? Can Bank Personnel collaborate to get you scammed? And what do I do if my BVN is compromised? So many questions to answer.

From the word go, we already know that BVN is an abbreviation for Bank Verification Number and it was created to serve as a customer’s unique identification number used for easy identification and verification at the point of banking operations.

Of course, your BVN number is like the unique pin code that gives you automatic access to your bank account. That is to say.

Even if your name is correct, your photo is intact but without this unique BVN number that is specially designed for your account, you won’t be able to make any transaction with your bank account.

But what happens if your BVN details are captured? Can you be Scammed through it, or is BVN Scams even possible? These and more are what we will tackle in this guide.

But before we go on to see if it’s safe to give out your BVN number, let’s check out a true-life story of the BVN Scam in Nigeria.

How My Money Was Syphoned from My Account through my BVN 

Mr. Sunday Adewole recalled. He said, I just fell victim to fraudsters a few hours ago. 

I am an account holder with Stanbic IBTC bank. I am trying to put funds together to pay for my daughter’s tuition fee at CU in which case the institution already resumed last week. 

Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from somebody purportedly from Stanbic IBTC who said “Am I speaking with Dr. Adewole” (called out my other names) to which I answered in the affirmative.

He said he called in respect of my BVN which I was observed not to have done, I replied that I already had it done with Skye bank and he said the bank will send me a link so that my account with Stanbic will be linked with the BVN. 

I’m the course of our conversation, I received a message from Stanbic IBTC in which an OTP was sent to my phone. A few minutes later, he called to ask if I got the SMS, I told him, yes but I can’t do anything about it cause I was driving. 

He said no problem I should call out the numbers which I did and he thanked me for my cooperation in a customer service manner. 

I heard nothing since then till this afternoon at precisely 13:00 hrs. when I received an SMS from Stanbic IBTC informing me of a debit transaction that cleared my account to the lowest thousand, i.e. I was left with a paltry N685 (six hundred and eighty-five naira). 

I called my account officer who confirmed to me that I have fallen victim to fraudsters he checked up on my account and saw that the recipient account is in First Bank. 

At this point, my puzzle is how did they get my account details, and how were they able to generate an OTP to my phone. I am waiting to see what my bank would do about it. In the meantime, please be aware of what the 419 people can do.

From Mr. Adewole’s story, let’s answer the big questions. Is BVN Scam Possible? The answer is yes and no. 

How BVN Scam is Possible

Ordinarily, no one can use your BVN only to scam you. It is only when you are manipulated to reveal an OTG authentication or other generated banking details that your money can be stolen, else, it’s impossible to defraud anybody (yet) with just their BVN – the same with the bank account number. 

In Mr. Adewole’s story, the only way the scammers got hold of his funds was unfortunately revealing the OTG authentication sent from his bank to the number he opened the account with, wherefore the scammer used to extract his  ATM card details (the 16 digits in front and the CVV numbers at the back), and possibly with his ATM pin. 

Without the OTG authentication, it wouldn’t have been possible for them to have access to other sensitive bank information. 

Let’s go on to see further sensitive answers related to BVN scams. 

What Can a Scammer Do with My BVN, can he withdraw my money?

What Can a Scammer Do with My bvn

As we explained earlier, No. 

According to Nams77, a tech-savvy, he said. Let’s look at the two plausible scenarios – if they want to approach your bank to withdraw, that will be suicidal as your mandate which carries your photograph and signature will be there and most likely, it won’t tally with their face or signature. 

Nowadays, bank CSOs don’t release customers’ info to strangers. Even if the CSO personnel sees your face and identifies you as the true owner, he definitely will ask you security questions like DOB, full name, and when and where you opened the account.

Now let’s look at a case of using details inadvertently supplied to access your account remotely. The probability is highly unlikely.

To access your account online, a fraudster should be able to provide your ATM PIN and also transaction security pin. Your BVN page doesn’t carry that information.

While the silver lining is that there is no risk as BVN is just like your ID card, you still want to take extra precautionary measures to safeguard your account.

Can you be Scammed if you mistakenly Revealed your BVN, Bank Account Number, and Name?

Yes and no. The “NO” part is that not all banks allow access to accounts with BVN only, while some Nigerian banks will only demand the last four digits of your BVN to access your account as long as the person has your account number – which adversely gives a fraudster access to your account. 

If you feel uncomfortable about any financial information you reveal online, the best thing to do is to visit the customer care unit and explain the situation to them so they will tell you whether to worry or not.

What can a Scammer Do with my BVN?

Nothing actually. However, since they cannot steal money directly from your BVN, with the help of an insider, they can use it to get all bank accounts linked to the BVN.

According to Bedfordng, they can do an inside job if they have connections with an inside man, especially if you are a target. 

That is, they can track your banking activities with an inside man from your various bank accounts.

To support this, based on the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Report 2018, and even previous reports, over 40 percent of the fraud cases were actively supported by staff of the banks, most times, the casual and contract staff.

And guess what?

The NDIC 2018 report stated that a total of 37,817 fraud cases were reported in 2018 against 26,182 in 2017. And the amount involved stood over ₦33.93 billion in 2018 compared to ₦12.01 billion in 2017.

So, be careful. 

What to do if BVN is Compromised?

Should you give out sensitive details to scammers or you suspect money leaving your account, you can quickly salvage the situation by stopping all bank account activities. 

From personal experience, when I unknowingly didn’t recall withdrawing from a POS point because the debit alert wasn’t instantiated until 3 days later, I immediately called the customer service Centre and there was an option to immediately block my account. Which is what I selected and all transaction activities were blocked. 

So, if your BVN is compromised hence noticing debit alerts on your phone, follow these 5 steps to curb the situation. 

Method 1. Call your Account Officer

One of the best ways if you’re not tech savvy is to call your account officer’s phone number and inform him or her to block your account as you’ve been swindled. 

Method 2. Block Account Activities with USSD Codes

Use the bank Swift codes to block your account. See a few swift Codes to block your account/card for different banks:

  • First Bank – text “BLOCK” to 30012
  • FCMB Bank – call + 2342798800
  • GTBank – *737*51*10#
  • Zenith Bank – #966*911#
  • Union Bank – text “BLOCK CARD NUBAN” to 20123
  • Access Bank – *901*11#
  • UBA Bank – *919*10*# *919*9#
  • Stanbic IBTC Bank – *909# and select my bank and select service request then select block card.

Check out more bank codes here at infomediang

Method 3. Call the Customer Care Centre

Simply call your bank customer service number, and you will be given a fast option to select sensitive cases like fraud and scams, and immediately, your bank account will be blocked – to avoid further access to your account. 

Method 4. Visit the Bank and lay a complaint 

If your bank is close to you, simply visit the banking hall, inform the customer service personnel and your account will be blocked. 

Method 5. Communicate via social media

If you can’t access any of the above, simply chat up your bank customer service on any social media. I recommend WhatsApp first as there are automated options to choose fraud and Scams, and an option will be presented to block your account fast. 

Other options include Twitter and Facebook.

Additionally: report the matter to the Anti-Crime Department of the Nigerian Police and the matter will be furthered. 

Advanced Types of Nigerian Scam Alerts to Avoid 

As already explained, since a fraudster cannot steal money directly with your BVN, please be informed that they can gain access to your email account and other sensitive information if you are tricked into revealing it to them.

They can do this by requesting you to update your bank details through several means, including:

  • Making a claim that the bank has launched a new and secure online banking website. 

That the process is in line with the new CBN cashless policy. The customers will not be able to log on to their online banking site if they do not migrate to the new one.

  • You are instructed to click on a link in the email.
  • You are asked to provide your username, password, and a token code

They emphasize that it is mandatory to enter the token code and most times it is written in CAPITAL letters.

Please, avoid any forms of such instructions.

Would a Banker Call to ask for your BVN Information?

Please be informed that no Bank in Nigeria would call and request the provision of sensitive and confidential information from her customer. 

This includes information like tokens, passwords, full card details, and PINs. These are all private information to the customer and would not be requested by any Bank either via email or telephone.

(At most, if a banker calls you, they will talk about not transacting with your account for a long time and a juicy offer they want you to check out at the bank. 

Therefore, if you receive any phony phone calls just cut it off, and if possible, block the caller – before they trick or hypnotize you to reveal your sensitive information).

How to Avoid BVN Scams in Nigeria

Follow these steps to learn safety measures to Beat the BVN Scams and make more money instead of losing

  • Make sure the bank portal you click in your email or on the internet has a padlock and it’s accurately spelled before launching it in your mobile browser. 
  • Separate your bank emails from other email addresses. As in, don’t give it out. 
  • Never disclose your personal account information like ATM number, ATM PIN, and BVN to anyone on the phone.
  • Cut off any phone call that someone identifies themselves as the “customer care officer” at your bank and therefore ask sensitive questions. 
  • Apply and request the option of a token being required when you are making transfers to third parties within your Bank or to other bank customers.
  • Don’t supply your banking details even if you receive a call that someone has access to your account – that they want to help you stop it. 
  • Don’t call any number sent to your phone to unlock your blocked bank account or ATM card. 
  • Don’t click on suspicious links in your emails. 
  • Use just one account on all online sites and keep just a minimal amount of money in that account.
  • Do not share your bank information on untrusted mobile apps.
  • Report any suspicious activities on your account to the bank immediately and block your account using the avenues stated above. 

How to Recover your money after being Scammed 

This might look like a big deal, nevertheless, you can involve law enforcement institutions to track and advise you accordingly on what to do to recover your funds. Most definitely, start from your bank for the best piece of information on this matter. 

And of course, contact the Police PRO, SP Benjamin Hundeyin on Twitter for advanced steps. 

What was the Aim of the BVN if (BVN Scams are Possible?)

As we’ve discussed about how to check BVN and other modalities, BVN was to help monitor and identify fraudulent activities. 

But in a case where some scammers exploit customers’ ignorance and commit audacious crimes and at times with the assistance of the banker workers (mostly temporary staff), you have to avoid all suspicious appearances to reveal your sensitive information. 

Since your BVN is the key to your banking accounts, and if you operate 3 or more bank accounts, once your BVN is given out to a scammer, all your accounts are at risk. Therefore, do not disclose your BVN on any unofficial website or anyone that claims he or she is a banker on a phone call. 

How Nigerian Banks help Curb Bank Scams

Since your BVN doesn’t contain your debit card information, most banks now have a limit of a few thousand Naira of the amount you can transfer using the USSD code. 

For instance, you can only do about ₦20,000 with GTB and Union banks. 

That’s, if it’s above the limit of ₦20,000, you would be required to enter the last six-digit of your debit card or use your Hardware token if you do a lot of online banking.

These measures by the Nigerian banks help curb the incidence of being ramped off with your money – which gives you time to report suspicious activity on your account or block it.

FAQs About BVN Scams in Nigeria 

  1. What Happens When Scammers Get Your BVN?

    They will try to get other info from you as just the number is not enough. In conclusion, if BVN alone could be used, all bank accounts would have been emptied by now. 

  2. Can someone do anything with your BVN?

    Yes, while they can’t steal your money directly, they can open bank accounts in YOUR name which can be used for fraud. Also, they can take out loans in your name and leave you to pay for them. 

  3. Can I be Scammed with just my BVN?

    Yes, if you are tricked to reveal other vital bank information to scammers. 

  4. Can my money be stolen with BVN?

    No, because ordinarily, they can’t because your BVN alone does not give them access to your banking information, however, it gets worse when you reveal other information from your bank to them.  
    Also, some banks require confirmation before your BVN can be used so you’re mostly safe. 

  5. Should you supply your BVN when filling out forms online?

    Yes, only give out your info if you’re familiar with the purpose of the website. Also, make sure that the site is secure (that is the website has an SSL. You know this if there is “s” after HTTP on the address bar such as the one on this site.
    As in HTTPS and not HTTP.
    And No. Don’t give out if the above conditions are not met. 

  6. Should I give someone my details?

    It’s not advisable to give anyone your details unless you fully trust the person. Otherwise, ask the person to simply open a digital bank in minutes and transact.

>> Next story – should you give your details out?


Over to you. 

Have you been Scammed before via BVN Scam or through giving anyone your information? Let’s hear from you. 


Look up – join our WhatsApp & view our status for more updates.

What next – want a special topic you want us to cover? Suggest here.  

Pls Share to loved ones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *