The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the weekend decried the growing concerns over the rising cases of fraud on the telecom platforms across key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
NCC Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mr. Efosa Idehen condemned this act at a sensitisation programme held under a theme, “Shine Your Eyes, No Fall Mugu” in Benin City, Edo state.
The programme was organised to inform, educate, enlighten and sensitise consumers nationwide on the need to protect their SIM Cards and other vital information from the Internet fraudsters.
Idehen, who was represented by the Head, Consumer Protection and Advocacy, Clement Omife, appealed to the consumers not to give their phones and ATM Card, Password, PIN to people they don’t know and trust.
NCC’s director said: “Guard your SIM, your SIM is you. Some can use your SIM to do negative transactions, which will be traced to you.
“Please, decline any request demanding for your private information, code, OTP, ATM PIN or numbers from anyone calling. Texting or sending links to click, claiming to be a Customer Care from bank or service providers.
“Don’t send any of your bank details or SIM details or personal details to anyone for any update, through phone.
“The development and deployment of robust infrastructure to support innovative technologies and services have no doubt positively transformed our socio-economic space. Today, Telecom consumers are enjoying broadband and other services driven by the quest to establish a digital economy.
“As the Telecom industry evolves, there are growing concerns over the rising trend of fraud perpetuated on Telecom platform (electronic fraud), across key sectors of the Nigerian economy. The menace which follows wide acceptance of new method of mobile money and electronic banking and payment systems has been discovered to cost the country whopping sums of money.”
Commenting on how the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), rated electronic fraud, Idehen explained that the CBN rated fraud “as a major risk in the sector.
“These risks are widely associated with electronic payment solutions, such as, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS) Instant Payment and mobile banking.
“The telecommunications sector is not also spread in the raging storm stoked by cyber fraudsters, across the country. Attackers are now targeting telecom networks with the intent of getting access to consumer information in the databank of service providers.
“SIM swaps and unstructured supplementary Service Data, USSD e-payment frauds are currently some of the serious cyber threats in the telecom industry.
“Fraudsters conduct SIM swaps of targeted individuals, and then, conduct USSD-based transactions with the attendant huge losses to victims.
“A lot of people have learnt the hard way how losing their phones, and vital information to fraudsters can lead devastating theft of the money in their bank accounts.
“These fraudsters do this by stealing victims’ identities – name, address, bank information, and other information, which they use in gaining access to their victims’ bank account.
“They also use the stolen identities- to defraud other people, and even apply for loans or make online purchases, leaving the victims with debts,” Idehen lamented.
Representing the Director, New Media and Information Security Department, Shamsudeen Sabo urged participants not to buy unregister SIM Card from people and also not buy SIM that have been used by their friends and relatives, that it would put them in jail.
Sabo also told participants not to expose their password, secret details of their number to their relatives and friends, urging them not to buy phone from people they don’t know