Nigerian Communications Commission Raises Concerns Over Surging Electronic Fraud Targeting Telecommunications Networks

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Increasing electronic fraud concerns the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as fraudsters target telecommunications networks to disrupt services and breach data banks, engaging in activities such as SIM swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) infiltrations.

During the Telecom Consumers Sensitisation Programme in Keffi, NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, highlighted the significant losses incurred by victims due to SIM swaps and USSD-based transactions executed by fraudsters. The NCC emphasized that the magnitude of this menace has resulted in substantial financial implications for the nation.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regards electronic fraud as the most significant risk within the sector. With the prevalence of electronic payment solutions like Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS) Instant Payment, and mobile banking, the telecommunications sector has also experienced the impact of cyber fraud across the country.

To combat this issue, NCC, in collaboration with various key stakeholders such as CBN, Nigeria Police Force, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offenses Commission (ICPC), has initiated a sensitization program. The aim of this program is to educate Nigerians about the risks of falling victim to fraudsters and to promote a consumer-centric approach.

Danbatta stressed the importance of awareness and cautioned against the consequences of losing mobile phones to fraudsters, which can result in the complete depletion of bank accounts. Fraudsters exploit stolen identities, including names, addresses, and banking information, to gain unauthorized access to victims’ accounts. Additionally, they use these stolen identities to defraud others and even apply for loans, leaving victims burdened with debts.

To safeguard against such threats, Danbatta advised consumers not to open unfamiliar emails or respond to suspicious inquiries. Instead, they should promptly report any suspected electronic fraud to their banks and telecommunications service providers.

Through these collaborative efforts and enhanced consumer education, NCC aims to empower Nigerians to protect themselves against the growing threat of electronic fraud.

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