NCC explains rigorous SIM card processes, Airtel asks subscribers to update their KYC details
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again explained why it reviewed and made the process of replacing lost, stolen or damaged Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards more rigorous for telecommunications consumers.
It said with the rise in cybercrime activities and hackers on the prowl, which has resulted to people losing their valuables to fraudsters, it is only necessary, to have a stringent process to check the menace.
NCC made the clarification while addressing various service-related concerns and issues raised by telecoms consumers during a Consumer Conversation Programme (CCP) in Lafia, Nasarawa State at the weekend.
The CCP is designed 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.
Speaking, Director, Zonal Operations Department of NCC, Mrs. Amina Shehu, said NCC discovered that, at times, a subscriber may be having issues with his or her phone number, thinking it is a network issue, but by the time he discovers what is happening, money has been taken out of his bank account.
Shehu, who was represented by a Principal Manager in the Zonal Operations, Ekisola Oladisun, said SIM swap or replacement fraud has a lot of issues attached to it because, often times, a lot of people who are not the owners of some numbers go to do SIM swap at various customer centers of telecoms companies.
“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 NCC expecting that the Commission would compensate them.
“To stop this SIM swap fraud, the Commission developed Guidelines on SIM Replacement in 2017, which sets watertight rules for subscribers to replace their SIM cards when the need arises.
“The guidelines set stringent conditions, which require that consumers identify themselves properly before replacing their lost SIM. This is to ensure that subscribers are well protected from being victims of SIM swap fraud,” she said.
Meanwhile, Airtel has called on its subscribers to visit any of the service centers to upgrade their Know Your Customer (KYC).
Airtel, which has 44.9 million customers and controls 25 percent market share in Nigeria, said in a text message: “Dear customer, kindly visit any approved Airtel KYC center to update your KYC details before March 30, 2019.
Dial *121*3* to get your serial number. Your line may be barred in the days leading to March 30, 2019, if you fail to do so. Kindly ignore if you have updated within the last 48 hours. Please hurry to avoid line disconnection.”