NCC Alerts Telco Consumers on e-Frauds


By Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again alerted members of the public on the increasing incidents of fraud across various platforms, especially on social media networks.

The commission advised telecom consumers using any social media platform to be alert and wary of the wiles of fraudsters and other unscrupulous persons, in order not to fall victim to their antics.

In a recent statement that was issued by NCC and signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, it stated: “The latest scams sometimes take the form of Vishing, which are fraudulent phone calls from people who may claim to be calling on behalf of a known and credible organisation, with the intention to gain access to the target’s personal social media account or other identity resources to perpetrate fraud. Vishing is a form of Phishing which is punishable under Section 32 of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act of 2015. “These increasingly popular incidents typically start with a phone call from fraudsters requesting the call receiver to perform a certain task for the caller, which will enable the caller to swiftly takeover the social media account of an individual or group.”

NCC informed the general public that such calls and antics, were always initiated and carried out by unscrupulous persons, usually with the intent to defraud unsuspecting citizens and or commit other heinous crimes.

“The commission observed that most times, when a receiver of such calls acts as the caller directs, the Facebook or other social media accounts targeted by the caller would be taken over by such persons, who may then proceed as impostors, soliciting funds from and/or enticing friends of their victims into fraudulent business transactions in order to swindle them.

“To illustrate the insidious dimension of this development, a recording of an attempt by a person to extract information was made available to the commission by a telecom consumer. The commission considers it necessary to post the recording online to educate the general public about how fraudsters play tricks on people to defraud them.”

The commission assured telecom consumers that all the numbers reportedly used to perpetuate these crimes are being investigated and thereafter, appropriate actions would be taken in that regard as prescribed by relevant laws.

NCC urged telecoms consumers to ensure that they put in place the necessary security measures to protect their online activities, as well as remain alert to the prowling fraudsters on various platforms on the internet.

“It is important that telecoms consumers do not give out any information about their accounts or other online transaction details to unknown persons who pose as representatives of known organisations (such as Pension Administrators, Bankers, Insurers, Mobile Money Service Providers, Telecom Services Providers, Social Media Accounts, Group Administrators, etc.). “Telecoms Consumers should also be less revealing about their personal lives and details on online platforms in order not to give fraudulent persons the opportunity to target them for scams.

“In the wake of increased internet usage and other electronic communications, the commission also wishes to warn telecom consumers and the general public of the possibility of an upsurge in cybercrimes, including but not limited to Vishing (Voice Phishing) and Smishing (SMS Phishing),” the statement further added.