The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again clarified the reasons behind the stringent process of replacing lost, stolen or damaged Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.
Speaking during a Consumer Conversation Programme (CCP) hosted by the Commission in Lafia, Nasarawa State at the weekend, Director, Zonal Operations Department of NCC, Amina Shehu, stated that one of the reasons was to stop fraudulent acts associated with SIM swap.
Shehu, who was represented at the forum by a Principal Manager in the Zonal Operations, Mr. Ekisola Oladisun, explained that the Commission discovered that, sometimes, a subscriber may be having issues with his or her phone number, thinking that it is a network issue, but by the time he or she discovers what is happening, money had been fraudulently taken out of his or her bank account.
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“There have been cases of fraudulent activities done on people’s bank accounts, as a result of SIM swap and the victims often complain to the Commission expecting that the NCC would compensate them!
“To stop this SIM swap fraud, the Commission in 2017 developed ‘Guidelines on SIM Replacement’, which sets water-tight rules for telecoms consumers to replace their SIM card when there is a need for it.
“The Guidelines set stringent conditions which require that consumers identify themselves properly before replacing lost SIM. This is to ensure that telecoms subscribers are well protected from being victims of SIM swap fraud,” she said.
She stated that the Commission has noted that there is the likelihood by subscribers to think that network providers are putting them through stress to have their SIM replaced, by asking them to bring court affidavit, national identification card (or other valid IDs), SIM pack, amongst other requirements.
“But what telecoms consumers should know is that they must appreciate the fact that all the information being required from them is to establish that anybody coming for SIM swap proves that the number that is being requested to be swapped belongs to him/her,” she said, urging the consumers to immediately report to their respect bank to block their accounts once they lose SIMs that linked with their bank accounts.
The Consumer Conversation Programme (CCP) is designed by the Commission to engage telecoms consumers and educate them on the various consumer-centric initiatives put in place by the Commission to protect their rights and interests, while also serving as a feedback mechanism to address consumer concerns.
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