The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, has said that continuous consumer education and awareness was key to the protection of consumers against cybercrime in Nigeria.
Danbatta who was represented by the head, consumer protection unit of the commission, Mr. Clement Omife, stated this Wednesday in Keffi, Nasarawa state, during a NCC consumer sensitization programme tagged: “Shine Your Eyes – No fall Mugu”
According to him, as the telecom industry evolves, there is a growing concem over the rising trend of fraud on telecom (electronic fraud) across sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He noted that 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 whopping sums of money.
He said: “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 telecos networks with the intent to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate their data bank SIM swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD e-payment frauds, are currently some of the senous cyber threats in the telecom industry.”
Speaking further, he said fraudsters now conduct SIM swaps of individuals and then, conduct USSD-based transactions which cost victims huge losses.
“A lot of people are highly ignorant 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, 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.”
He added that it is in view of this and in line with the Commissions Consumer Centric posture that the Commission in collaboration with relevant advocacy groups embarked on the sensitization programmes in locations across the country.