MTN Nigeria has issued a statement warning its customers to be vigilant of a new fraud which involves SIM Swapping. The fraud is been carried out by some miscreants who have already successfully duped some people. MTN says that the scheme which has happened outside Nigeria is similar to ‘phishing’ and the purpose is to hoodwink subscribers into giving out sensitive personal information that can be used to defraud them later.
The criminals behind the deceit make calls to network subscribers claiming to be staff of a network service provider and then ask for sensitive personal information from them, gullible subscribers fall for the trick and their information is then used for the illegal SIM swap which gives the criminal access to the subscriber’s online accounts associated with his/her number thereby allowing online bank fraud and identity theft.
MTN Nigeria’s Corporate Services Executive, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck said: “As a responsible corporate citizen, MTN is always on its toes. We are obliged to alert our customers of all the possible ways in which their personal or financial security can be compromised by unscrupulous elements, through the fraudulent use of our platform.”
He said that while customers may be contacted by Customer Care agents on SIM registration issues, only one number will be used, he added “That number is 180. Anything short of that is suspect, and customers should be careful. Also, we will never call, send emails or text messages asking anyone to divulge sensitive security information such as their MTN Security Number, bank details or ATM PINs,” He also pleaded with customers to make use of their MTN Security Number which was designed to prevent identity theft and enhance security.
The MTN security number is a 12 digit Customer Identification Number with a four-digit Security Key/Password which is unique to every customer. The numbers were sent to customers via SMS and anyone who hasn’t received theirs should visit any MTN Walk-in Center. The numbers are to be kept secret and never to be told to anyone.