BVN Scam is not about BVN

Ayoola Falola

24 September, 2018 (1 yr ago)

A lot of legitimate organizations ask for BVN but a lot of people are panicky because of the Notorious BVN scams. Now heres what you need to know about BVN

I'm taking time to make this explanation because of some people that want to learn. I've decided to go ahead and state this explanation because of the contention on why needed the BVN.

1. BVN is a number that ideally could be traced to you. Its a form of identification mechanism. It is similar to an ID card. The number is similar to the number on your drivers license, or your international passport.

2. The BVN is linked to your bank account just like you link an ID card to your bank account, just that its the central bank that now act as the authentication agency. 

3. Government agencies prefer to ask you to provide BVN for various reasons, two of which are for the following reasons
A. Because BVN seems to be the only national ID method in Nigeria that offers an API where you can authenticate user data with what is on file.
B. BVN itself is government-backed so any government agency could easily get authorization to use it.

4. No one can steal money from your account by the virtue of just being in possession of your BVN details. In fact, no one can do anything with your BVN that they can not do with a copy of any other of your identity cards. 

4. The so-called BVN scam is not a scam using  BVN. There is usually more to the scam than what can be perpetrated with a BVN. So ideally, its safe to say that there is nothing like "BVN scam". An example of what people call BVN scam is a case when someone call you and tell you your BVN... or they say that your account has some BVN error. Such scam will proceed by asking you to provide you credit or debit card details which is actually the sensitive information that could lead to money being stolen from your account.

5. Asking for your BVN has enabled organizations to be able to verify that a user is who they say they are and that they didnt do double registration. It has helped government and corporate employers to eradicate ghost workers to some great extent. It has also allowed banks to trace their creditors and link them to other banks they may have. It is also used by NPOWER to ensure people didnt do double registration. 

Now here is the real guideline to how to protect yourself online.

1. Verify the authenticity of the organization asking you to provide information about yourself. Familiarize yourself with their privacy policy. Google the site and ask people about its genuineness.
2. Learn about how they would use any information they ask you to provide. If you are in doubt, most sites do have a contact feature.
3. Check to ensure the site is secure by checking it the URL in the address bar starts with "https"
4. Make sure your device is free of viruses and spyware. Use latest, OS antivirus and browsers. In most cases, your browser or antivirus would warn you about fake sites.

Good luck 

Ayoola is a leading cyber-security expert in Nigeria. He started out as a website developer in 2002 and today, he has founded PageCarton a platform that has championed a new set of tools to publish content to the internet through web sites and apps.

About Ayoola Falola


  • Damilare Taiwo
    1 yr ago
    Seriously ehn, I used to be among those folks who believe money could be stolen from my bank account with my BVN. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    More importantly, we need to be a reader, ask questions all the time and not follow the crowd...
    • ExampleX2
      1 yr ago
      Glad to know that this piece is informative. Also glad you learnt something. Thanks for the kind words.
  • Jackz
    1 yr ago
    Yeah, was among scared folks...
    • onoyenure Lucky
      1 yr ago
      Add a comment. mine is question. if your bvn and your credit or debit card fall into wrong hands, can they steal money from your bank account without your consent?.
      • Ayoola Falola
        1 yr ago
        Yes, if your Credit or Debit card or details fall into the hands of criminals, they will not need any other thing to remove money from your account.

        They wouldn't even need your BVN or your PIN. All they need in most cases are the numbers printed on your cards.
    • Keita
      1 yr ago
      I have this question, can someone have more than one bvn?
      • ExampleX2
        1 yr ago
        It is not "legally" possible to have more than one BVN. One cannot register for BVN twice. This is one reason why BVN is becoming one of the most trusted identification mechanism in Nigeria. It is however left to the CBN and the governing body of the BVN to maintain this stance.

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