NCC sensitise Traders against falling prey to fraudsters

By Na'ankwat Dariem

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The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has sensitised traders on how to avoid falling prey to fraudsters in the country.

The programme which was tagged: “Shine Your Eye No Fall Mugu” took place at the Market Square,  Keffi, in Lafia, North-Central, Nigeria.


The Executive Vice-chairman, of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta was represented by Mr Clement Omife, Head of the Consumer Protection Advocacy Unit of the NCC.


Danbatta said that the awareness was to promote initiatives such as this to empower telecom consumers with knowledge and advocate for their protection within the telecom industry.


He said that the menace which follows the wide acceptance of new methods of mobile money, electronic banking and payment systems has been discovered to cost the country whopping sums of money.


According to him, a lot of people were highly ignorant as to how losing their phones to fraudsters can lead to a complete clean-up of their bank accounts.


“These fraudsters do this by stealing victims’ identities; name, address, and bank information, which they use in gaining access to their bank accounts.


“They also use the stolen identity to defraud other people and even apply for loans, leaving the victim with debts.”


The NCC Boss explained that as the telecom industry evolves, there is a growing concern over the rising trend of fraud in telecom especially electronic fraud across sectors of the Nigerian economy.


“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rates electronic fraud as the biggest risk in the sector which has widely incorporated electronic payment solutions such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS) Instant Payment and mobile banking.


“The telecommunications sector is not also spared in the raging storm stoked by cyber fraudsters across the country.


“Attackers are now targeting telecom networks with the intent to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate their data bank SIM swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).


“USSD e-payment frauds, are currently some of the serious cyber threats in the telecom industry. Fraudsters conduct SIM swaps of individuals and then, conduct USSD-based transactions which cost victims huge losses.”


He reassured that the Commission is collaborating with critical stakeholders such as the CBN, the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and other relevant in the fight against e-banking fraudsters.


He said that effective collaboration between government agencies, private organisations and individuals was pivotal in tackling this scourge of electronic fraud.


He assured Consumers that the Commission would intensify its regulatory efforts in protecting the interest of telecom consumers


Prof Danbatta said that the development and deployment of robust infrastructure to support innovative technologies and services had no doubt positively transformed the socio-economic space.


“One of the critical mandates of the Nigerian Communications Commission is the protection and promotion of the interests of consumers, which is majorly domiciled with the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission.


“As part of the strategy to actualise this mandate, the department collaborates with Consumer Advocacy Groups and relevant stakeholders in creating consumer awareness.


“By promoting initiatives such as this to empower telecom consumers with knowledge and advocate for their protection within the telecom industry.


“Today, telecom consumers are enjoying broadband and other services driven by the quest to establish a digital economy,” he said.


He urged traders to avail themselves of the necessary information required to avoid falling prey to cyber-criminals.


He also urged consumers to be careful not to open unfamiliar emails or respond to unfamiliar inquiries and report suspicious E-fraud to their bank and telecom service providers.


The Chairman of the Keffi Traders and Market Association Musa Yakubu, called on traders to hinder teaching on financial fraud and the strategies to tackle them.


“We appreciate NCC for coming to enlighten our people on how to manage our money. I have mandated my members to ” here to be able to learn how not to fall victim to financial fraud,” he said.


Dominica Nwabufo

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