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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned operators in the telecommunication industry against the activities of cyber fraudsters, as the later now target telecom networks to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate banks’ data.

Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management of NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, explained that cyberfraud had cost Nigeria huge sum of money in recent times as the menace continues to eat deep across the country.

Adewolu said the fraudsters now perpetrate financial fraud using telecommunications networks which is why he warned that telcos should be more alert and restructure their system to reduce the menace.

NCC warns telcos against cyber fraudsters 

According to him, illegal SIM swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data e-payment frauds were among the most serious cyber threats in the telecoms industry.

“Fraudsters conduct illegal SIM swaps on targeted individuals and then, conduct USSD-based transactions which cost the unlucky victims huge losses.

“This malevolent use of modern technologies is taking its toll on the Nigerian telecoms industry, as some subscribers have reportedly lost huge sums of money to telecom-related financial crimes since the emergent use of the smartphone technology in the country,” Adewolu said.

[READ MORE: NCC moves to regulate infrastructure sharing regulations]

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Plans to curb cyber fraud: Adewolu disclosed that there were plans in the works to tackle the rising trend of electronic fraud in the country. He said that even the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had rated e-fraud as the biggest risk in the financial sector.

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Adewolu explained that the NCC was working with telecoms operators, banks, security agencies and other stakeholders to combat the rise in the use of telecommunications platforms for financial fraud.

Recall that Nairametrics had reported when CBN announced that a new rule dedicated to checking fraudulent practices of bank customers would soon be introduced. This move was based on the report obtained by the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), in 2018, which attributed 89% of financial services fraud in Nigeria to digital channels and a meagre 11% to non-electronic channels.

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