- Flutterwave, a Nigerian fintech, has denied claims of a ₦2.9 billion hack, reassuring customers that their funds are safe.
- However, media reports suggest the alleged hack happened in February and that Flutterwave has been working with law enforcement to recover the funds.
- The company’s denial may be an attempt to maintain customers’ trust and confidence in its ability to secure their money.
Nigerian fintech Flutterwave has issued a statement denying claims that it was hacked and lost over ₦2.9 billion. In its statement, which it posted on Sunday, March 5 2023, the company assured customers that their funds were intact.
“We want to reassure you that Flutterwave has not been hacked. As a financial institution, we monitor transactions through our transaction monitoring systems and 24-hour fraud desk and review any suspicious activity. We collaborate with other financial institutions and law enforcement agencies to keep our ecosystem safe and secure,” it said in part.
The multi-billion-dollar startup further added that it was able to rectify the situation before any harm was done.
However, while the aim of its statement is to address the fear and panic among its customers, it may be doing the opposite.
According to several mainstream media outlets and individual sources, Flutterwave has been engrossed in an uphill battle to recover the alleged funds before it made its way into the news cycle.
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The alleged hack on Flutterwave appears to have happened since early or mid-February, several weeks before the public heard of it. The fintech has been working with the Nigerian police and courts, several reports claim.
It initially sought to stop the money trail when it was still in 28 bank accounts by freezing them but court proceedings took too long and it later spread to 107 accounts in 27 financial institutions.
In addition to court documents posted online by Twitter user @UfedoDavid to back the claim that there was indeed a Flutterwave hack, there are also several users sharing emails from their banks about their accounts being frozen at the request of the fintech in relation to “unauthorised debit”. Although, these users deny having any thing to do with the fintech and its missing funds.
Why would Flutterwave deny a hack if it happened?
Flutterwave is yet to confirm that a hack happened, that is, if it ever does now that things have gone this far. With the firm’s legal counsel, Albert Onimole, being named in several reports for filing suits to recover the funds, one might ask why the company is denying the incidence.
The answer is quite easy; it does not want to lose the people’s trust. Although, this strategy would have worked if it kept things quiet successfully.
As a Fintech, Flutterwave’s main selling point is providing a secure way for clients to send and receive money. However, if it is seen to be unable to protect its own funds from hackers, what is to assure users that their money is secure?
It is not easy to admit to falling short of your main goal, especially as a company with customers spread across several countries. Flutterwave is not the first to deny a hack, even if it happened, and the general language among tech firms in situations like this is to downplay the seriousness, as long as they can get away with it.
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