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Cyber criminals now target telecoms network for financial fraud, NCC says

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Cyber fraudsters have zeroed in on telecommunications networks in the country to perpetrate financial frauds, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) warned in Tuesday.

The NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr Adeleke Adewolu, gave the warning in Abuja when he spoke at an Industry Consumer Advisory Forum, adding that cyber fraud had cost Nigeria huge sums of money.

According to him, the telecom sector was not immuned from the scourge of cyber fraudsters across the country, warning that attackers are now targeting telecom networks with the intent to disrupt service delivery and infiltrate their data banks.

He further revealed that illegal SIM swaps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data e-payment frauds were currently among the most serious cyber threats in the telecoms industry.

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He said: “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 however assured 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.

“Collaborative efforts at addressing e-fraud include the Committee on Electronic Banking Fraud comprising representatives of NCC, Mobile Network Operators, banks, Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System, Wireless Applications Services Providers Association and Licenced Mobile Money Service Providers”, he said.

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