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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fake SMS promos still awash

Market Intelligence:

Despite the current ban on promotions within the Communications sub-sector by the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), subscribers of Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) are still awash with Short Messaging Services (SMS) calling for participation.

Champion Infotel recalls that NCC had on Friday, July 6 2007, issued a directive to all telecom operators including specifically the GSM operators in the country to put a stop on new promotional activities likely to further affect quality of services.

According to NCC spokesman, Mr. Dave Imoko, they “should not embark on and also discontinue any promotional activities that could directly or indirectly degrade the Quality of service on the networks for a period of ninety days in the first instance.”

But Champion Infotel investigations revealed that some fraudulent elements in the society are still busy disturbing the privacy of unsuspecting subscribers.

One of such fraudulent SMS was the one purportedly sent on behalf MTN Nigeria.

It reads, “Yello! Congratulations U have won 1 million Naira Ur code is 18352. Please call MTN staff Rimi on 0703-199-9994 now for your bank details. MTN … Everywhere you go!”

Responding to the news, the External Communications Manager at MTN Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Okeleke, disclosed that currently there is no on-going promo from the telco and suspected fake SMS.

On what MTN is doing to arrest the situation and culprits along with the law enforcement agencies, Mr. Okeleke said that the telco has in recent past initiated sensitisation of the public through the press at different times and had had an average of eight radio stations running the campaigns twice weekly.

“There is also radio advertisements on it currently running on major radio stations across the country. And most importantly, we are not running promo,” he said.

Further investigations also revealed that all MTN staff numbers start with 0803200 …, while the one quoted in the fraudulent SMS was 07031999994.

The onus is now between the telcos and NCC as well as law enforcement agents to harmonize their strategies by ensuring that perpetrators of fraud are brought to book as a deterrent for those still contemplating such fraudulent activities.

Also subscribers must listen to news and read newspapers to know what is currently obtainable in the industry.

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