NCC summons telcos over call masking, other frauds

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has summoned all telecommunications firms in the country over rising complaints of masking and refilling.

Call masking is illegal and simply means to either disguise the telephone number or display it as a different number as is the case for many companies who use what are known as non-geographical numbers.

NCC said it has zero tolerance for this or call refiling, a form of interconnect fraud in which one carrier tampers with CID (caller-ID) or ANI data to falsify the number from which a call originated before handing the call off to a competitor.

In directive to all chief technical officers (CTOs), NCC asked the CTOs of the telcos and their other relevant officials to report for a crucial meeting at the NCC office in Abuja on August 3.

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The Commission also gave Friday July 28, 2017 as deadline to put an end to call masking and call refilling, warning that failure to comply will attract stiff penalty.

Titled: Re: Call Refilling and Call Masking Practices, the NCC lamented that it has been inundated with complaints by subscribers over the unwholesome practices, adding that there are grave security implications associated with it.

The letter read: “Recall the complaints by different stakeholders in the industry in respect of receiving international calls which display numbers in the National Numbering Plan (NNP) as the calling numbers. The commission has been investigating these unwholesome practices of call masking and refilling in the telecoms industry before and after the complaints, and our initial findings show that this practice is currently widespread.

“Due to the serious security and economic implications of this practice, the Commission is by this letter giving your organisation a deadline of Friday July 28, 2017 to ensure no call masking and refilling activity takes place in your network.”

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