The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, said that since the introduction of smartphones in the country, Nigerians have lost up to N12.5 billion to financial crimes linked to the telecoms industry.
The NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Danbatta disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja ,during a stakeholders forum on the issue of telecom-related financial frauds.
According to him, the widespread use of modern technology is beginning to wrought its negative implications. This is because as the use of mobile payment apps continue to improve, so are criminals constantly devising means to take advantage of the situation.
As a matter of fact, the perpetrators of online financial frauds have so much perfected their methods, such that they have so far stolen billions from unsuspecting Nigerians.
“As mobile app integration with online payment platforms and other financial resources have improved over the years, the proportion of legitimate trade conducted using mobile phones and other portable devices has also increased.
“Little wonder then that mobile channels have been seized by cyber-criminals as a new avenue for fraud. Mobile apps as a whole are now quite easy for hackers and cyber-criminals to hijack or corrupt, making them tools for fraudsters to steal credentials, impersonate genuine account holders, and gain illicit access to funds.’’
In view of the problem, therefore, Professor Danbatta called for stricter authentication measures to be adopted by service providers in order to make it difficult for the criminals to perpetrate their crimes.
In the same vein, he advised users of mobile payment apps to take precautions in order not to fall victim to the criminals’ ploys.
Speaking further, the NCC boss disclosed that his Commission is working together with appropriate security agencies to reduce the level of financial crime linked to mobile transactions.
Also, the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, who spoke at the event, assured that the Government is working hard to proffer a lasting solution to the problem.