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  • Updated: September 14, 2023

NCC Alerts Telecom Users To Rising Electronic Fraud Trends

NCC Alerts Telecom Users To Rising Electronic Fraud Trends

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has once more issued a warning to telecom users about the escalating trend of electronic frauds carried out on telecom platforms in important Nigerian economic sectors.

Alkasim Umar, the Director of NCC's Consumer Protection and Advocacy Unit, Consumer Affairs Bureau, issued the warning at a seminar to raise awareness in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State.

Umar stated at the event titled "Shine Your Eyes-No Fall Mugu" that the department works with Consumer Advocacy Groups and relevant stakeholders as part of the strategy to actualize the protection and promotion of consumer interests in order to arm telecoms consumers with the knowledge they need to advocate for their protection within the telecoms industry.

The director, who was represented by the NCC's Clems Omeife, Head of Consumer Advocacy and Production Unit, said there is no doubt that the creation and implementation of reliable infrastructure to enable cutting-edge technology and services have had a good impact on our socioeconomic environment.

"As the telecom industry develops, there is growing concern over the rising trend of fraud perpetuated on telecom platforms (electronic fraud) across key sectors of the Nigerian economy," the NCC Director stated.

"The menace that follows the wide acceptance of new methods of mobile money electronic banking and payment systems has been discovered to cost the country a whopping amount of money.

“Cyber criminals are targeting telecoms networks, interrupting service provision and accessing bank data. Victims are often left with enormous losses from SIM swaps and USSD e-payment frauds.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has identified electronic fraud as the biggest risk to the sector, which has embraced a range of electronic payment solutions, including Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS), instant payment as well as mobile banking.

“A lot of people are highly ignorant of how losing their phones to fraudsters can lead to a complete clean-up of their bank accounts.

"These fraudsters do this by stealing victims’ identities, names, addresses, and bank information, which they use to gain access to their bank accounts.

“They also use the stolen identity to defraud other people and even apply for loans, leaving the victim with debts.

"It is in view of this and in line with the commission’s consumer-centric posture that the commission in collaboration with relevant advocacy groups embarked on the sensitisation programme tagged: ‘Shine Your Eyes, No Fall Mugu’, across the six geopolitical zones in the country.”

Umar claimed that in the fight against e-banking fraudsters, the commission also partnered with important parties like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practises Commission (ICPC), and other pertinent agencies.

Additionally, he cautioned telecom users to exercise caution and vigilance when transacting money over the network because fraud can happen via a variety of channels, including unwanted text messages, voice calls, emails, and fraudulent mobile applications.

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