NCC lists SIM swaps, USSD e-Payment as cyber fraud threats
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), yesterday, identified Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) e-payment frauds as some of the cyber threats confronting the telecom industry.
The commission disclosed that attackers target telecom networks with the intent of getting access to consumers’ information in the databank of service providers.
At the maiden edition of a sensitisation programme tagged “Shine your eyes, no fall mugu”, in Benin City, Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC, Efosa Idehen noted that fraudsters conduct SIM swaps of targeted individuals and then carry out USSD-based transactions to defraud citizens of their money.
Idehen, who was represented by Clement Omife, a deputy director in his department, advised Nigerians to be careful when opening unfamiliar emails or responding to unfamiliar inquiries so as not to fall prey to cyber criminals.
“These fraudsters do this by stealing victims’ identities- names, address, bank information and other information which they use in gaining access to their victims’ bank accounts.”
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 said.
He said the enlightenment programme which was organised by the commission in conjunction with the African Entrepreneurial and Human Development Initiatives, was to empower telecom consumers with knowledge and inform them to be alert not to fall victim of fraudsters.
“As the telecom industry evolves, there are growing concerns over the rising trend of fraud perpetuated on the platform (electronic fraud) across key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“The menace, which follows wide acceptance of new methods of mobile money and electronic banking and payment systems, has been discovered to cost the country whooping sums of money.
“It is in view of this and in line with its consumer-centric posture that the commission with relevant advocacy groups, embarked on this sensitisation programme in locations across the country, starting with Benin City, Edo State,” he said.
He emphasized that effective collaboration between government agencies, private organisations and individuals is pivotal in tackling the menace of electronic fraud.