NCC moves to checkmate SIM Swap fraud

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Ms Helen Obi, Head of Zonal Operations, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have said the commission has put in place a regulation to checkmate SIM Swap fraud.

Obi made this disclosure in an interview with journalist in Jos.

A SIM is a smart card inside a mobile phone, carrying identification number unique to the owner.

While SIM Swap is the process of replacing your existing SIM with a new SIM and moving your existing number, data etc. to a new SIM.

She said that the new regulation put in place to stop SIM Swap fraud was in the interest of customers.

According to her, SIM SWAP fraud has a lot of issues attached to it because often times, you find a lot of people who are not the owners of these numbers going to do SIM SWAP at various centres.

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“We have cases of fraudulent activities done on people’s bank account as a result of SIM SWAP and they complain to the commission expecting that the commission would compensate them.

“We have now put a regulation in place advising these operators to demand for certain requirements and criteria before allowing SIM swapped.

She said that anybody coming for SIM Swap must prove that the number that was been requested to be swapped belonged to him/her.

Obi said that once that is done, there would be no complain and the operators would not be left in doubt.

“ So it is all in the interest of consumers that we are doing this because of the complaints, especially the one that has to do with fraudulent activities on the consumer’s bank account.

“What we as a regulatory authority keep advising and encouraging our consumers to do is that they should also help the commission to serve them better by following laid down rules.

Some subscribers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that Network providers were putting them through stress to have a SIM replaced.

They said that they were being asked to bring court affidavit, national identification card, SIM pack amongst other requirements.

Mrs Ola Adedeji, an ICT expert, applauded the idea of asking subscribers to identify themselves properly before replacing lost SIM.

Adedeji said that her problem with the network providers was that subscribers were not adequately informed about the new development.

“It is okay to ask a subscriber, who lost a SIM card and want a replacement, to properly identify himself or herself before a re-issue.

“But my problem with the network providers is that they should educate customers properly so as to enable us prepare ourselves before coming for replacement.

Mr Collins Okeke, a trader at Lugbe, said that he was not happy with the development of going through the stress of retrieving a misplaced SIM as network providers are asking them to bring so many things.

Okeke said that last time he went to do a welcome back at GLO office, he was asked to swear affidavit because he did not get his SIM pack.

“I am not happy with the development because I did not know of all these protocols as I was not previously informed.

“NCC and network providers should embark on serious sensitisation campaigns to properly educate subscribers on the need to provide the items for proper identification.’’

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