What do You do if Your Phone is Stolen…?

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There is no end in sight to cyber-crimes and fraud. Rather, there is usually a day-to-day upgrade in malicious activities of fraudsters and threat actors. I met a young man two days ago in a public cafe, who had a great rapport with the cafe manager. He narrated to the cafe manager how his new phone worth almost two hundred thousand naira had been stolen. What’s more…He said he had four hundred and twenty thousand naira in his account and the thief transferred every penny from his account to another account. I asked him why he did not block his account immediately he realized and he said he was really confused and disorganized when it happened… I could just imagine in his shoes.

So what do you do when your phone or SIM card is stolen, especially when you have your bank account linked to your phone number? The pre-first step that sets in naturally is confusion. Once you jolt back to reality, the first step is to block your bank account to prevent unauthorized persons from withdrawing your money or having further access to your bank account and your private data. You must know how to block your bank account instantly if your ATM card or phone is stolen, or fraudsters tampered with your bank account.

HOW TO BLOCK YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

  1. If the bank is not available at the time, call your bank customer care line and give your bank account details.
  2. Log into your online banking and block your ATM.
  3. If the banks are in operation, visit your nearest bank branch and report to block your ATM card.
  4. Dial the bank code with any available phone. Instantly, you will be required to type in your account number and name. Your account will be automatically blocked from any debit transaction.

Some banks will require you to call customer care to block the account while others may require you to use a USSD code. Every bank has a unique USSD code or phone number different from others. Below are some bank codes or USSD codes to use to block your bank account.

First Bank: Dial *894*911#

Zenith Bank: Dial *966*911#

Guarantee Trust Bank: Dial *737*51*74#

UBA: Dial *919*10#

Fidelity Bank: Dial *770*911#

Ecobank: Dial *326*911#

FCMB: Dial *329#

Access Bank: Dial *901*911#

Wema Bank: Dial *945*911#

Polaris Bank: Dial *833*4#

IBTC: Dial *909#

Sterling Bank: Dial *822*911#

How to Block Your SIM Card

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  1. Go to the nearest police station, with your phone IMEI so it would be officially documented as a stolen phone. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. As the name suggests, an IMEI is a 15 digit number unique to each device. Service providers and phone manufacturers can use IMEI to track the particular device if the said device is lost or stolen. Every phone in the world has a unique IMEI number that can be used to identify or locate the device in case it gets lost or stolen. If you do not have your phone IMEI anymore, still go ahead and get a police report for security reasons.
  2.     Head to your service provider with your SIM pack, if it is still available.
  3.    You would be asked to provide an identity card and your national identification number(NIN) to proceed. 
  4.   You would be required to answer some questions to confirm whether you are the true owner of the phone. Your service provider would go ahead to block your SIM card afterward.

Conclusion

It is that time of the year again when fraudsters and threat actors become very desperate. Endeavor to do your best to stay safe online and offline. Be cautious as well of who has access to your mobile device, to avoid sensitive data loss.

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