Telcos said they are not liable for any cash stolen by fraudsters riding on their networks.
Acting under the aegis of Association of Licensed Telecoms Companise of Nigeria (ALTON), they advised bank cutomers to hold their banks responsible for any money lost to cyber crooks using mobile phones.
Speaking in Lagos during the last Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the group’s Executive Secretary, Gbolahan Awonuga, said the lenders should set up a 24/7 customer helpline for customers to lodge complaints, adding that the lenders should also ensure prompt response.
Awonuga, who represented the Chairman of the group, Gbenga Adebayo, said the group was worried at the increasing spate of frauds being perpetrated through the telecoms network and urged stakeholders to come out with solutions to tackle the menace.
Reacting to the problem, Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Philip Eretan, said the use of telecoms infrastructure to defraud bank customers is a big challenge facing the regulator.
He said fraudsters have turned to the mobile network to swindle people of their hard-earned cash.
He warned bank and telecoms customers to be extremely careful in sharing their bank details with charlatans, who will pretend as officials of the banks.
He gave the warning against the backdrop of an increase in the case of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card swap, which he said has become alarming.
Eretan, however, assured that the NCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were working together to address the issue, lamenting that crimes move faster than investigation.
Earlier on, Mr A. Akande of the Advertising Practioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) complained about unsolicited adverts on his mobile phones.
He cited an advert on a certain phone number, which took him to a website which he later found out was in Ghana.
He said he called the phone number and someone in Enugu, Enugu State, picked his call and compalined to him that fraudstsers have been using his phone number to to perpetrate fraud.
He wanted to know what the NCC was doing about situation like this, especially when SIM cards are supposed to be registered.
NCC’s Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs, Ismail Adedigba, who responded, regretted that the elite hardly read local newspapers nor listen to local channels.
He said if people in the elite class were either watching CNN, or reading a foreign newsmagazine.
He said the NCC has done so much in sensitising the subscribers across the country through its Consumer Outreach Programmes, monthly Telecoms Consumer Parliament, Town Hall Meetings and others, adding that the Commission has put in place several measures in place to protect the consumers.