Telcos under the auspices of Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON) have said they are not liable for any cash stolen by fraudsters riding on their networks.

ALTON said bank customers should hold their banks responsible for any money lost to cyber crooks using mobile phones.

Reacting to the menace of fraud posed at financial inclusion, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Executive Secretary, Gbolahan Awonuga advised the lenders to set up a 24/7 customer helpline for customers to lodge complaints, adding that the lenders should also ensure a prompt response.

Awonuga, who represented the Chairman of the group, Gbenga Adebayo, said the group was worried at the increasing spate of frauds being perpetrated through the telecoms network and urged stakeholders to come out with solutions to tackle the menace.

Backing Awonuga’s claim, Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Philip Eretan, said the use of telecoms infrastructure to defraud bank customers is a big challenge facing the regulator.

Eretan said fraudsters have turned to the mobile network to swindle people of their hard-earned cash. He warned bank and telecoms customers to be extremely careful in sharing their bank details with charlatans, who will pretend as officials of the banks.

Eretan, however, assured that the NCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were working together to address the issue, lamenting that crimes move faster than investigation.

In view of addressing losses that emanate from cybercrime and technology risk in the financial sector, the CBN was considering revamping the modalities of banking regulations.

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The apex bank through its Deputy Governor, CBN, Aishah Ahmad, stressed the need to redesign regulations that will address cybercrimes and technological risks that may arise from emerging modern financial firms in the country.

The move by CBN became imperative as a report by McAfee’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies suggested that the annual cost of cyber crimes in 2017 hit $600 billion worldwide as hackers become more sophisticated and criminal marketplaces and cryptocurrencies thefts multiplied.

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