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How to Secure your Bank Account if your Phone gets lost or stolen


You may have experienced or heard incidents of Phone theft or loss, after which the victim receives unauthorized debits in their bank accounts. Sometimes these fraudulent transactions are done with USSD. While the adoption of USSD in the payment space continues to grow, cases of fraud on bank accounts due to lost or stolen phones may be on the rise.

The use of USSD for transactions has proved to be generally safer, faster, and more convenient, however there has been a suspicion of the emergence of syndicates that try to circumvent the existing security and safety policies put in place by financial institutions, the Telcos and payment partners like Coralpay Technology Nigeria ltd to protect customers.

In this article, we will explore the various ways you can secure your bank account in the event of stolen or missing phone.

SIM Card Lock


Locking your SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) Card has proven to be the most effective way to ensure prevention of unauthorized access or takeover of your profile when your phone is lost or stolen.

Your phone number has become inextricably linked to your personal information and financial security. It is your key to two-factor authentication on a variety of digital platforms. It is where you will get your bank’s debit and credit alerts, as well as access to banking transactions through USSD code. Additionally, locking your SIM card prevents cloning and SIM swap.

We will look at how to lock your SIM card for Airtel, MTN, Glo and 9mobile on both Android and Apple devices.

Every mobile network provides a default PIN (personal identification number) on all purchased SIMs. Here are the default PINs for the various Telcos in Nigeria:

  • MTN: 00000
  • Airtel: 1111
  • Glo: 0000
  • 9mobile: 0000

Locking your SIM on Android

  1. Go to settings, then Security.
  2. If you are using a dual SIM phone, select the SIM card you want to lock.
  3. Select SIM card lock.
  4. Enter the default SIM Pin. For MTN- 00000, Airtel-1111, Glo- 0000, 9Mobile- 0000
  5. Select Change SIM Pin.
  6. Enter old SIM Pin and press OK.
  7. Enter new SIM Pin to lock SIM card.
  8. Confirm the new four-digit Pin.
  9. Press OK and exit.

Locking your SIM on iPhone

  1. Go to Settings on your iOS device.
  2. Tap on Cellular.
  3. Locate SIM Pin and tap it.
  4. Toggle the SIM Pin to ON.
  5. Enter the default SIM Pin. For MTN- 00000, Airtel-1111, Glo- 0000, 9Mobile- 0000
  6. Enter a new SIM Pin to lock your SIM card

When your SIM card is locked, a PIN is required every time your phone is rebooted or your SIM card is inserted into another phone before the card can access any network services, including voice calls, SMS, and Internet data.

Never forget your SIM Pin or you may require the SIM PUK (PIN Unlock Key) or assistance from the network provider to access your SIM.

Deactivate Your Bank Account with USSD code

Most Financial institutions in Nigeria have provided a quick way to block your bank account using USSD. If your phone is stolen or lost, you can quickly dial the USSD code with any other phone and follow the prompt. Below are some of the USSD quick codes from the various financial institutions.

Access Bank            *901*911#

Ecobank                    *326*911#

FCMB                         *329*911#

Fidelity Bank            *770*911#

Heritage Bank         *745*7#

Zenith Bank             *966*911#

GTBank                      *737*51*74#

Keystone Bank        *7111*911#

Sterling Bank           *822*911#

UBA                            *919*911#

Unity Bank               *7799*911#

WEMA Bank             *945*911#


As a major player in the USSD space, providing switching and payment services to financial institutions, Telcos and merchants, CoralPay has also built an effective fraud monitoring engine to ensure that risks from USSD transactions are mitigated. Speed is key in responding to a phone theft or loss. It is advisable to register your phone number with your bank’s USSD service, to enable you quickly deactivate your account in emergency. If your number is not registered with your Bank’s USSD, the fraudsters may still register it and perform transactions. The safest bet remains to always have you SIM locked. Quickly call your bank if you are unable to use any of the self-help solutions.