With the current economic situations in the world, business owners and entrepreneurs are on the lookout for loan offers and investment schemes to boost their business and better their lives.
However, in quest of this, most people fall victim for online scammers. While this is avoidable, it is often difficult because the scammers know how they play their games and if you are not smart, you will most likely not realize you are about to be duped.
This is evident in a press release from The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) few weeks ago where they warned members of the public against fraudulent messages and videos targeted at unsuspecting loan seekers and owners of small - scale businesses purportedly facilitated by the Bank.
In the statement, the bank said "The CBN has neither appointed nor accredited any organisation to serve as agent on its behalf for the purpose of investment or applying for intervention loans."
It continued, "Prospective applicants are therefore advised to approach their respective banks, NIRSAL Micro - Finance Bank or the Central Bank of Nigeria branch nearest to them for clarification on the procedure for accessing any of the CBN - related facility, "
These brings us to the 5 important things to note when applying for loans, grants etc:
- Do not pay a kobo to anyone: No one will ask you for payment to prepare loan payouts for you. If there is an opportunity, it should include the guidelines without any requirement for payment whatsoever.
- Make the sure the online platform is secured. Most blogs publish loan offers and direct users to apply for them virtually. While this is the modern method of applying for loans as it makes processing easier, you must ensure that the website you are assessing is secured with SSL Certificate. You will know this by looking at the browser URL box. If a padlock symbol proceeds the URL, then the site is secured. If not, it will display the "Not secure" message.
- If there is an opportunity for you to verify the loan from a physical bank, please do. Most of these loans have banks sponsoring them. So it's advisable you visit the bank branch to confirm the legitimacy.
- Do not release your financial details: It is known that most platforms issuing loans will request for your BVN. This is important in order to feast check that there are no fraudulent activities on their platforms: like users having more than once accounts or running away with the funds. But releasing details like debit card details, and other sensitive details can be extremely dangerous. Once again, let the bank guide you.
- Keep record of all the activities. Make sure you record all the details and all the actions you took: the details you gave out and responses from the organizers. This can be used to track and finally get back your money in case you are scammed. Kindly follow me as my next article will be on getting back your funds or details from scammers and online fraudsters.
Follow these guidelines and secure your accounts to prevent yourself from Cyber attacks. Kindly share.
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DISCLAIMER: Do not pay or release sensitive financial details to any organizer/recruiter unless futher verified from your end.