The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has sensitised Nigerian traders on how to avoid falling prey to fraudsters in the country.
The commission did the sensitisation at Market Square, Kasuwar Rusau, Keffi, on Wednesday in Nasarawa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was tagged: “Shine Your Eye No Fall Mugu”.
The Executive Vice-chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, was represented by Mr Clement Omife, Head, Consumer Protection Advocacy Unit of the NCC.
Danbatta said that the awareness was to promote initiatives such as to empower telecom consumers with knowledge and advocate for their protection within the telecom industry.
He said that the menace, which follows wide acceptance of new methods of mobile money, electronic banking and payment systems has been discovered to cost the country whopping sums of money.
Danbatta said that a lot of people were highly ignorant of how losing their phones to fraudsters can lead to a complete clean-up of their bank accounts.
He said|: “These fraudsters do this by stealing victims’ identities; names, addresses, 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.”
According to him, as the telecom industry evolves, there is a growing concern over the rising trend of fraud on telecom (electronic fraud) across sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Danbatta added: “CBN rates electronic fraud as the biggest risk in the sector which has widely incorporated electronic payment solutions such as 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 sensuous cyber threats in the telecom industry. Fraudsters conduct SIM swaps of individuals and then conduct USSD-based transactions which cost victims huge losses.”
He said that the commission also collaborated with critical stakeholders such as the CBN, the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), EFCC, ICPC and others relevant in the fight against e-banking fraudsters.
Danbatta 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
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 NCC 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 cybercriminals.
Danbatta 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, Keffi Traders Association, Alhaji Musa Yakubu, called on traders to learn about financial frauds 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 be here to be able to learn how not to fall victim to financial frauds,” he said.
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