NCC identifies SIM swaps, USSD e-payment as threats to telecom industry

...launches campaign to address e-payment frauds in Edo

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has 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 said attackers target telecom networks with the intent of getting access to consumers’ information in the databank of service providers.

Speaking at the maiden edition of a sensitization programme tagged, “Shine your eyes, no fall mugu”, on Friday in Benin City, Efosa Idehen, director, consumer affairs bureau, NCC, explained 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, deputy director, consumer affairs bureau of NCC, advised Nigerians to be careful when opening unfamiliar emails or responding to unfamiliar inquiries so as not to fall prey to cybercriminals.

“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.

Read also: CIBN decries rising cyber-attacks on Nigerian banks

He said the enlightenment programme, which was organized 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 in order not to fall victim to fraudsters.

“As the telecom industry evolves, there are growing concerns over the rising trend of fraud perpetrated on telecom platforms (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 sensitization programme in locations across the country, starting with Benin City, Edo State,” he said.

He emphasized that effective collaboration between government agencies, private organizations and individuals is pivotal in tackling the menace of electronic fraud.

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