Beware of fake Interswitch emails

Interswitch is the leading ATM/POS network in Nigeria and is the power behind the debit/ATM cards issued by over 20 banks in Nigeria including Guaranty Trust Bank, UBA, Intercontinental Bank, First Bank, Union Bank, Ecobank etc.

To make payment online using an Interswitch card, all that is needed is the card number and PIN. This makes the card users even more vulnerable. Some scammers have been sending out fake emails and text messages, requesting card users to enter their card number and PIN usually under the disguise of updating their profile for security reasons. See an example of such phoney emails, which I got just this morning:

Dear Customer,

We at Interswitch Nigeria, are upgrading to serve our customers for a better and secure online service, against any fraudulent activities. Due to this recent upgrade, some of our data was lost so you are requested to update your account information by following the reference below.


Regards Copyright © 2007 Interswitch Nigeria Ltd. All rights reserved.

I crossed-out the URL above. Though the domain name in that URL is really that of Interswitch Nigeria, the link in the email leads to some scammy page so do not click the links in any such emails or respond to such text messages. If in doubt, contact the bank that issued your card for any queries.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


  1. Woes of a Nigerian Internet Banking User

    Scam emails have been circulating the Internet for sometime now, attempting to trick people into entering their bank account login details into a fake version of their financial institution’s website. This criminal activity is known in Internet s…

  2. Hi interswich, u guys are realy doing a good job here in nigeria, i just wanted to know if there are any career opportunity for me. just finished from university of abuja. political science and international realations department. will be highly honour if i can get any possitive ressponse from u.

  3. In Gods Name I really wish something can be done to stop this scam, Because really Now I dont Trust any thing on-line In this country any more.

    Its very funny how people are just always dragging this country back in all ways..

    I also got an e-mail like that and confirming the site went to inter-switch web site directly for me to update my account details for my ATM before 48Hrs which i did only for me to get to the bank the Next day and my account was left with N732:00K. Every thing went just like that.

    A sample of the E-mail I got


    “Interswitch Admin”

    Dear Interswitch Card Holder,

    During our regularly scheduled account maintenance and verification procedures with affiliated banks(below), we have detected a slight error in your account information.

    This might be due to either of the following reasons:

    1. A recent change in your personal information (i.e. change of address).
    2. Multiple failed attempts on online shopping websites.
    3. An inability to accurately verify your selected option of payment due to an internal error within our processors.

    Please update and verify your information by clicking the link below:

    If your account information is not updated within 48 hours then your ability to access your account will become restricted.

    Note: Card Number (printed on card issued by bank) and Pin are numeric. Refer to your Debit and/or Cash Cards.

    Thank you for choosing, Interswitch.

    * Please do not respond to this email as your reply will not be received

    * Affiliated Banks (GTBank, UBA, Skybank, BankPHB, Zenith, Access Bank, Intercontinental Bank PLC, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Africa Bank PLC, Oceanic Bank, Unity Bank, Wema Bank)

    PLZ People this is real NIJA IS SO MESSED UP with this kind of people around. Today i was Ashamed that i was a NIGERIAN

  4. There are always scams there needs to be a solution. And no one should be ashamed of being who they are or their nationality. We are all human, just a few are bad. The banks usually have to ‘bite the bullet’ take the hit when a scam hits to bad there is no ping test or comfirm request when your account is being hit with charges. I’m sure that the banks could delay internet only charges, so that they could confirm with the account holder by email (equipped with a conformation link) before debt. Wouldn’t this stop illegal charges and save a lot of trouble? Also put a lot of scams out of business?

  5. In the past 3-4weeks, i had received several emails similar to this below……..

    Attention Card Holder,
    This is to notify you that our services are being upgraded to a new, better and more secured system . You are now required to CLICK HERE and register all your DEBIT CARDS, X-CHANGE CARDS, and CASH CARDS online IMMEDIATELY so as to enable your card to work on our new servers. Only registered cards will work with the ATM machines.

    Note that in order to continue using your card for ATM transactions, you MUST register your card(s) online IMMEDIATELY BY CLICKING HERE .If you do not register your ATM card(s) immediately, you will no longer be able to use your cards with the ATM machines or for ATM transactions and your card(s) will be cancelled or terminated.

    Adhere to this instruction on receiving this message and click here immediately to register your card. Our goal is to satisfy all our customers need.

    InterSwitch Nigeria Limited


  6. Hi,

    I think interswitch and the affiliate Banks should be more proactive to curtail activities of these scammers. Shutting down those bogus websites should not be hard – immediately they are reported. Also they should educate their customers that their personal information at no time will be requested over the internet. That way any body that receives any of these scam mails will know that they are scams. Or in the very least contact their Banks for clarification.

    But sometimes I can’t help but think how in the world people still fall for these cheap, overused scam emails. I guess different strokes for different folks.

    Below is the link I was directed to in one of the phony emails about re-confirming my information or we will temporarily prevented access to your account.

  7. Sometime last 2 years, my computer was hacked by spiderman on june 7 2007. At the time I was a lay man not knowing exactly what it was all about until recently. Last year, I was making a payment for 3 e-passports when suddenly the page hooked, I lost all the money. I was at the bank several times trying to reclaim my money but proved abortive. Since then I have been recieving constant emails to update my atm details. Pls if anyone can help me to free my email and computer from this situation Pls , I beg help me.

    • I sympathize with you Kabir. I suggest you activate the spam screening function on your email account. Future scam emails will go into your Spam folder. Delete them.

      About securing your PC, read: Securing your PC, the right way (Part 2)

      About your bank, I am sceptical since you must prove to them beyond reasonable doubt that your money was stolen. Even then, they would only refund you if they accept liability for your loss – which I doubt they would.

    • The safest and simplest thing to do at this point is to simply format your system. Get a professional the systematic backup ur documenent and format

  8. yesterday 1JUNE 2009 i receive an email from interswitch. asking me to fill in my ATM CARD INFO FOR UPGRADING. I WENT TO MY BANK TODAY HUGE AMOUNT HAS BEEN WIHDRAWN OUT OF MY ACCOUNT

  9. I came to the site when I open an iterswitch mail requesting an update of my ATM. Of course I never could have disclosed any information about my PPIN or Card No. Anyway the mails are still making the rounds and for fear of being a victim. I intend cancelling the use of ATM.Talk about really going back to the stone age.

    Ochogwu A.O.W

  10. Interswitch, thanks for your services. Please may I be educated on the maximum number of times one can use an ATM CARD to withdraw money in an ATM MACHINE in a day.


  11. Hello Mr. David,

    I equally read this blog “Interswitch Nigeria & member banks move against ATM fraudsters”. Weldone sir

    Consider the following as culled from a white paper:

    “Technology advancements have made it easier for criminals to obtain both card PIN numbers and the sensitive data held in the magnetic stripe. Gangs will place realistic-looking false fascias containing magnetic stripe readers on the front of genuine ATMs to collect information, and install mini-cams masquerading as security cameras in order to record PIN numbers as they are entered on the ATM keypads. Armed with this information, they can gain ready access to an individual’s checking account, compromise it and then potentially withdraw large amounts of cash. In doing so, the fraudsters are striking at the very core of an individual.”

    What can you say about this? ATM fraud is a worldwide menace. It is an epidemic that requires urgent vaccines. It must be quickly put to halt.

    I have a solution, technology based solution that will enhance the existing security measures. I put up a proposal that will sell all across the commercial banking sector.

    Once again, I salute your efforts.


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