NCC warns consumers against unauthorised SIM swaps

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The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on Tuesday warned telecom consumers of unauthorirized SIM Swap and other fraudulent activities by dubious individuals who take advantage of innocent citizens, asserting that the full wrath of the law would be visited on culprits.

Speaking at the 4th Quarter Open Forum of the Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) at the NCC Annex Office, Mbora, Abuja, the Director of Consumers Affairs Bureau of the commission Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam said the Commission with security agencies are on the lookout for fraudsters who use the telecom platforms to defraud innocent Nigerians.

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She said there has been growing concerns in the industry on the exploitation of the SIM card replacement process to defraud citizens, adding that the ongoing discussions with critical stakeholders were aimed at checkmating the manace.

Onwuegbuchulam said the theme of the Forum “Financial Fraud Using Telecoms Platforms- What Consumers Need to Know” was chosen to address salient issues regarding financial frauds and the need for consumers to be more vigilant.

She said “Financial fraud using telecoms platforms has been on the front burner for both the financial and telecom sectors in recent time. The negative implications of such frauds are not only huge infinancial losses but also high in reputational damage to telecom operators, financial institutions, the regulators (NCC and CBN) security agencies and the nation at large.

“The consumer is one of the major stakeholders in the telecom industry. It is our desire as a commission to ensure that they enjoy primary focus. We believe that through adequate education, information sharing and the provision of an array of channels for redress, we can safeguard telecom consumers, and innovatively promote the prospect for greater consumer experience.”

She said to checkmate the activities of fraudsters, the commission with other stakeholders have among others established Industry working group on electronic banking fraud in Nigeria, inaugurated committee to develop the much anticipated MOU to be signed by stakeholders in the fight against cyber fraud and set up the Financial Inclusion Desk (FID).

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She added that the FID serves as a focal point for coordination, collation and participation of the Commission’s initiatives to help drive CBN’s efforts at reducing Nigeria exclusion rate, stressing that there is another committee comprising of the NCC, Telecoms Service Providers, the Office of the National Security Adviser ONSA and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, established to address the challenges.

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