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How subscribers lose money to telecom-related financial crimes – NCC

Isola Moses

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Abuja, FCT, has said that spiteful use of modem technologies is taking its toll on the telecom sector of the Nigerian economy.

The Guardian reports Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, stated this at the 4th Quarter 2019 Industry Consumer Advisory Forum, in Abuja.

The source indicated Adewolu noted that fraudsters conduct illegal SIM swaps of targeted individuals and then, conduct Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD-based transactions which cost the unlucky victims huge losses.

He described USSD and e-payment frauds, as “the most serious cyber threats in the telecom industry in the country” through which some subscribers have reportedly lost huge sums of money to telecom-related financial crimes, especially since the introduction and use of smartphone technology.

The NCC Executive Commissioner also observed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rates e-fraud as “the biggest risk in the financial sector” which has widely incorporated electronic payment solutions such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMS), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS), Instant Payments and Mobile Banking.

While noting the effective collaboration between government agencies, private organisations and individuals is pivotal in tackling this scourge of electronic fraud, Adewolu advised consumers to be careful not to open unfamiliar e-mail or respond to unfamiliar inquiries and report suspicious e-fraud transactions to their banks and telecom service providers.

“In fulfilment of one of its fundamental statutory responsibilities of protecting the interests of consumers, the Commission has been working closely with other stakeholders to implement technical and operational solutions to financial fraud using telecom platforms,” he said.

Prominent example of this collaboration, according to him, is the Committee on Electronic Banking Fraud whose drivers comprise the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mobile Network Operators (MVOs), Banks, the Nigerian lnter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS), the Wireless Applications Services Providers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN) and licensed Mobile Money Service Providers.

He added the NCC also collaborates with other critical stakeholders, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and other relevant agencies.”

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