In the course of this COVID-19 lockdown period, various forms of social media marketing gimmicks have been adopted by Nigerian banks in a bid to stay connected with their customers. Sterling Bank Plc, which is famous for its unique social media gimmickry, has not disappointed in this regard. The case in view is a recent stunt the company pulled on its customers, all for the right reasons by the way.
Wondering what happened?
Well, a few days ago, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar Suleiman shared a post on his personal Twitter handle. Some parts of the tweet simply said “… tomorrow you will get a call that could change everything”. Customers were then encouraged to click on a link in order to learn more.
At a time when millions of Nigerians are desperately cash-strapped and in need of financial aid, this tweet was surely going to garner attention. As expected, many people clicked on the link, and some of them came back with feedback. See one of them below:
This is pure scam, people beware!
— Emmanuel Dahunsi (@DShogotex) April 21, 2020
No, it’s not a scam; but it could be…
While a lot of customers got the trick immediately, some others did not. And you cannot even blame those that failed to get it at first glance; the whole thing looked like the making of a good scam story.
Upon clicking on the link provided by Mr Suleiman, visitors are taken to a page on Sterling Bank’s website where they are asked to provide their full names. The author of this report did not provide his full name. However, he typed in a fictitious name and here is what happened. See the picture below.
Now, at this stage when visitors are asked to provide their name, it is normal for anyone to conclude that it must be a scam. Therefore, assuming someone is actually faced with this kind of situation, leaving the site in a hurry would be the ideal thing to do. This is important because if you proceed to input your name, you might end up exposing yourself to various forms of cybercrime.
In the case of Sterling Bank’s “The Call”, the intention is obviously to test customers’ preparedness to discern the activities of criminals and flee from them. Agreed, some customers were initially alarmed by the “unique method” the bank had adopted to pass the message across. Yet, the important thing is that customers are getting the point.
Thanks for this reminder. I was confused for a sec and hunged up ?
— Delicious Triple Chocolate Adesuwa (@TobyDonut) April 20, 2020
— Mehmet Bin Sheikh (@CountMoh) April 20, 2020
Was this a good stunt?
Well, it depends on who you ask. For the people who could not get the drill immediately, this is probably not funny. But then again, Sterling Bank’s social media team is just used to their creative ways. Remember the infamous bank wars that was instigated by them in 2018? Nairametrics documented it right here.
Anyway, the most important thing is for bank customers to safeguard their banking details on the internet. This has become more important than ever before. Recall that as Nairametrics reported recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had to issue a fraud alert about the activities of cyber-criminals who are taking advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic to defraud Nigerians.