By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has begun a sensitisation programme for telecommunication consumers in Ekiti State on safety measures aginst cyber fraud.
The regulatory agency said the menace of cyber theft had wreaked havoc on many Nigerians, making them lose valuable property and money to fraudsters, who used Information and Communication Telecommunication infrastructure to defraud innocent citizens.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Thursday during the 104th Consumer Outreach programme, Mr Jide Azees of the Consumer Advocacy Group of NCC, urged consumers to be cautious of the information they divulge to people on social media and other ICT platforms.
The stakeholders programme was attended by traditional rulers, students, youth groups, faith-based groups, artisans, market men and women as well as civil servants.
Azees, who spoke on the topic ‘Mitigating Effects of Cybercrime: Role of Telecom Users’, stated that there was need for consumers to avoid frivolous discussion with unknown individuals on social media platforms, adding that this is the best way to fall into the hands of fraudsters.
He said many Nigerians have lost their lives as a result of the trauma caused them by ICT fraudsters, adding that consumers must protect their personal data from being stolen by ICT thieves.
“These fraudsters attack consumers on social media website where consumers carry out financial transactions by using credit/debit cards. Our mobile devices and computers are the targets of yahoo boys.
“So, users must be aware that this fraud and attacks can emanate from any part of the world as long as the devices are connected to the global super highway known as internet.
“So, we must take precautions on our SIM cards, by not using preregistered cards. Follow guidelines on SIM replacement and where you lose your phone, or SIM quickly contact your bank to stop transactions on the account,” he advised.
The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, MTS, Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said the programme was packaged by NCC to inform and educate telecommunication users on how best to protect their lives.
The Director, who was represented by the Deputy Director in the Department, Mr Ismail Adedigba, said the NCC will continue to take actions that would protect the rights and lives of consumers.
“It is our belief that without consumers becoming aware of cybercrime trends and making efforts to ensure safe use of connected devices, cyber criminals will continue to make ICT space unsafe.
“We are concerned about curtailing the activities of dishonest people who are bent on using ICT for illegal businesses and this awareness campaign is part of the strides to make consumers enjoy the fruits if their labour,” she said.