• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
businessday logo


Here are top 12 reasons to avoid pre-registered SIMs

Here are top 12 reasons to avoid pre-registered SIMs

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again urged Nigerians to avoid using pre-registered SIM cards because of the dangers they pose.

According to the regulator, these cards, which have been fraudulently activated with stolen or fake identities, are a threat to users, national security, and even basic phone functionality.

“In today’s world, our mobile phones are essential tools,” the NCC said. “We rely on them for everything from finances to staying connected. But using a pre-registered SIM card puts all that at risk.”

The NCC highlighted some of the dangers of using pre-registered SIMs as follows:

Safety Nightmare: Criminals can use these cards anonymously to threaten, commit fraud, or even organise crimes. Since the SIM isn’t registered to them, law enforcement will have difficulty tracking them down.

Legal Trouble: The NCC strictly enforces regulations requiring SIM card registration. Using a pre-registered card can result in fines or even imprisonment.

Read also: NIMC, NCC partner to enhance seamless NIN-SIM linkage

Lack of Accountability: If disputes arise or investigations are needed, holding the correct person accountable is difficult without proper registration.

Business Disruptions: Organisations using pre-registered SIMs risk service disruptions and operational problems if the cards are deactivated due to non-compliance.

Reputational Damage: Businesses caught using pre-registered SIMs face a damaged reputation and loss of customer trust.

Service Deactivation: Pre-registered SIM cards can be deactivated without warning, disrupting essential services and potentially causing financial losses.

Increased Costs: Frequent replacement of deactivated cards and re-registration fees can become a significant financial burden.

Erosion of Trust: Widespread use of pre-registered SIMs undermines trust in the telecommunications system, discouraging people from using mobile networks for sensitive communications.

Black Market Growth: The demand for pre-registered SIMs fuels black markets, further damaging the formal economy.

Unwanted Surveillance: The original owner or third parties could potentially monitor your communications and activities if they have a pre-registered SIM card with your information.

Identity Theft: Using a pre-registered SIM card means all your calls and messages appear to come from the person whose information is on the card. This can lead to confusion, damaged relationships, and even legal issues.

Financial Scams: Fraudsters can exploit pre-registered SIMs to access mobile banking services or steal sensitive information. “Always register your SIM card yourself at an authorised store of your chosen service provider with a valid ID card. Also, never buy a pre-registered SIM card, regardless of convenience or price,” said the regulator.

The NCC stated that reporting any suspicious activity related to pre-registered SIM cards to relevant authorities is important.