NCC warns telecom consumers against falling prey to cyber-criminals
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has cautioned telecommunication consumers to be conscious of the activities of Internet fraudsters and associated risk to phone users.
Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at the commission, Mr. Efosa Idehen, who raised the concern on the prevailing threat posed by cyber fraudsters, especially in banking system, worried that the ugly trend has snowballed into the telecommunication sector.
Efosa, who spoke at a sensitisation workshop, yesterday in Kano, tagged: “Shine Your Eyes- No Fall Mugu,” organised by the commission to reawaken public consciousness, reminded that telephones are now being targeted by criminal elements seeking to defraud unsuspected persons.
Besides, Efosa stressed that attackers are also targeting telecom networks with the intent of getting access to consumers’ information in the data bank of service providers. The director, represented by his deputy, Hafusat Lawal, warned consumers on the risk inherent in SIM swaps, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and e-payment, among other critical areas susceptible to cybercrime. He stressed that telecom sector is no longer spared in the raging storm.
He cautioned consumers not to open unfamiliar emails or respond to unfamiliar inquiries while urging them not to hesitate to report suspicious propositions to their banks and telecom service providers.
The NCC director explained that efforts and collaboration is being established with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practice and other related Commission (ICPC) and other relevant agencies to curtail the fraudsters’ menace.
He reassured of NCC’s mandate to protecting and promoting consumers’ interests, adding that the commission would sustain awareness creation and public education on telecom fraudsters to guard against falling prey.
He said: “The development and deployment of robust infrastructure to support innovative technologies and services has no doubt positively transformed our socio-economic space. Today, telecom consumers are enjoying broadband and other service driven by the quest to establish a digital economy.
“As the telecom industry evolves, there are growing concerns over the rising trend of fraud perpetrated on telecom platforms 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 whopping sums.
“A lot of people have learnt the hard way how losing their phones and vital information to fraudsters can lead to devastating theft of the money in their bank accounts. These fraudsters do this by stealing victims’ identities— name, address, bank information, which they use in gaining access to their victims’ bank accounts.”