BusinessDay

NCC, CBN, NPF others collaborate to fight fraud

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), and all other relevant agencies to help fight against e-banking fraudsters.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Umar Danbatta disclosed this in his welcome address at the stakeholders forum on financial fraud using telecoms platform in Abuja on Tuesday.

Dambatta explained that even with the commission’s stand and quest for a robust infrastructure to support innovative technologies and services that will enhance the pursuit of excellence in all sectors of the Nigerian economy, it however cannot overlook the malevolent use of the technologies in the area of financial fraud which has become a growing concern of the industry.

“As mobile app integration with online payment platforms and other financial resources have improved over the years, the proportion of legitimate trade conducted using mobile phones and other portable devices has also increased.

“Little wonder then that mobile channels have been seized by cyber criminals as a new avenue for fraud. Mobile apps as a whole are now quite easy for hackers and cyber criminals to hijack or corrupt , making them tools for fraudsters to seal credentials, impersonate genuine account holders, and gain illicit access to funds,” said Danbatta.

He revealed that phishing tactics and social engineering ploys such as the SIM Swap are part and parcel of online fraud mechanism, regardless of whether the transactions are conducted via mobile phone, desktop browser, or point of presence.

He further emphasised that effective collaboration by government agencies and private organisations is a tool to tackling the scourge that has bedeviled financial and telecom sectors.

The Minister of Communications , Adebayo Shittu, declaring open the stakeholders forum, noted that the event is aimed at developing a roadmap to resolve the evolving issues on financial fraud, using the telecoms platform.

The Minister avers that the impact of online fraud cannot be underestimated or denied, as it leads to the loss of reputation and income, while still tied to direct financial loss of billions of naira in the financial sector, e-commerce and telecommunications.

He further said the frequency of identity theft is alarming, hence the reason behind the government putting its full might behind efforts to confront the menace and to put an end to it.

“As a fall out of technological advancement, knowledge has increased and control has become even more complex, creating gaps which are being exploited by miscreants and nefarious individuals always looking to beat the system. Indeed, the financial climate is overhung with deliberate attempts by fraudsters to outsmart erstwhile air-tight measures, hence the need for our deliberations today.

Oyin Aminu, Abuja