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In the wake of a rise in e-wallet scams, First National Bank (FNB) Namibia says a lack of understanding of the role of the one-time pin (OTP) is the leading cause of clients falling victim to conmen.

During a media engagement with FNB, the bank revealed that 788 fraudulent e-wallet transactions were recorded between August 2022 and August 2023.

That equates to about N$600,000 stolen from would-be e-wallet recipients.

The head of transaction and digital banking, Yeoman Hamilton, explained that this is an elaborate scam that happens over time.

Unlike the e-wallet withdrawal pin, Hamilton notes that a 'one-time pin gives complete access to not just a current e-wallet but also to future e-wallet transactions.

"As soon as you share that pin, they have access to your wallet and the capability to monitor your transactions. From there on, they also have the ability to request the new pin."

FNB has not forgone its responsibility to its clients, he says, which is why the bank is working together with law enforcement to apprehend the fraudsters.

In the meantime, he urges the bank's clients to familiarise themselves with the difference between OTPs, pins, and withdrawal pins and make an effort to safeguard this personal information.

The Executive of Retail Banking, Nangula Kauluma, stresses that all the bank's security mechanisms are upheld to the highest of regulatory requirements and global standards.

"With these measures that the bank maintains, it is important to remind our customers that they too play a role in maintaining their security as the last line of defence. We continue to be relentless in collaborating with the various strategic partners and law enforcement authorities to bring these criminal fraudsters to task."

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Donald ǂKariseb

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Donald ǂKariseb