Commercial banks and telecommunications companies risk losing customers over the fear of falling victims to SIM card fraud unless a drastic remedy is enforced to curb the menace in the country.
This was the resolution at the opening of the 3-day investigative public hearing held by the Ad-Hoc Committee investigating ‘incidents of SIM Swap fraud’, chaired by Honourable Abubakar Fulata.
Honourable Fulata who chairs the committee feared that the banking sector, in particular, will collapse if nothing serious is done about the matter.
“Imagine a situation you are just seated and you see an alert wiping out your account completely, your money disappears and then you are asking me to take my money to the bank, who will take his money to the bank? Nobody.”
“I’d rather keep it and hold a machete in my house, let the armed robber come, it’s either I get killed or he gets killed,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, head of cybercrime unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Sa’ad Abubakar explained that the criminals strategically carry out the action over the weekend, with the knowledge that banking operations are not carried out to halt their acts.
“These criminals normally carry out sim swap process over the weekend, such that by Saturday, they would have gained access to the victims’ account and transferred their income to different bank account knowing well that banks are closed at the weekend.”
Stressing, Deputy Commandant-General, of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Aminu Abdullahi, suggested that a synchronized data bank station should be created for prompt action to curb the menace.
“I suggest that we establish a synchronized data bank station between NSCDC and other stakeholders like bank and NCC whereby an alert on sim swap in progress can be checkmated promptly.”
He asked that collaboration between NSCDC and Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) be established in a bid to profile staff and vendors engaged by banks and telecom operators with the view to track perpetrators of the heinous crime.
The security experts also recommend that telecom providers should adhere strictly to the guidelines of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) on SIM card replacement and also advised network providers to request for additional requirements for replacing sim cards such as a person’s National Identity Number as this would curb sim swap fraud.