Shun purchase of pre-registered SIMs to avoid scammers, NCC warns

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned consumers to stop buying pre-registered SIM cards because kidnappers and scammers might have used them to perpetrate evil.

Mr Ismail Adedigba, Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, gave the warning on Thursday in Epe, Lagos, at the 37th edition of the Consumer Town Hall Meeting (CTM).

The meeting, which had the theme, “Information and Communication as Catalysts for Consumer Protection”, was aimed at giving consumers appropriate information that would ensure protection of their rights.

Adedigba said that some pre-registered and fraudulently registered SIM cards were being used for fraud and breach of security.

“Consumers should observe phone etiquettes and desist from buying pre-registered SIM cards to avoid being victims of kidnappers and scammers,” Adedigba said.

He expressed regrets that some communities were preventing telecom providers from erecting telecom masts in their areas because they believed that there were health hazards associated with erecting masts in residential areas.

The official explained that radiation from masts was  minor and posed no health hazards.

Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, Director, Consumer Affair Bureau, NCC, said that the commission was determined to empower consumers with appropriate information to protect their rights.

She said that NCC developed series of initiatives to empower telecom consumers.

“We are organising outreach programmes across the country; we are also participating in radio programmes to educate consumers on their rights and privileges.

“Consumers have the right to receive correct information on services they subscribed to and the right to be provided with clear, complete and accurate information in a language that will be understood.

“These will guide them to make informed decisions on products and services offered to them.

“Therefore, it is the responsibility of service providers to communicate information to consumers in a plain and simple language,’’ the director said.

She said that service providers should ensure  consumers’ access to information that would assist them in making informed choices,” she said.

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