Fraudsters now using unsolicited messages to swindle consumers – ZICTA

Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA)

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) have cautioned consumers to be wary of unsolicited messages from third parties because they are a means of swindling unsuspecting recipients.

In a statement, ZICTA public relations manager Ngabo Nankonde revealed that fraudsters have adopted social engineering methods as a way of collecting and accessing personal information of ICT consumers, thereby, exposing them to cyber-crime.

“ZICTA has noted with great concern the increase in the number of unsolicited messages consumers and users of ICT products and services have been exposed to. The unsolicited messages are from third parties asking users to send money to a specific mobile number through mobile money services. Other messages are scams disguised as ‘possible winnings’, ‘gift vouchers’ and ‘free Internet’, usually containing a link, which mimics official website platforms when clicked. Investigations carried out by ZICTA, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, have revealed that fraudsters have adopted social engineering methods as a way of collecting and accessing personal information of consumers, thereby, exposing them to cyber-crime,” read the statement.

“This conduct contravenes Section 42 (6), 99, 103 and 106 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act No. 21 of 2009. The Authority has engaged the service providers to ensure that they immediately suspend or terminate the service to perpetrators who have violated the Acceptable Use Policy as stipulated under 16.4 of the Consumer Protection Guidelines. ZICTA would like to caution members of the general public not to forward or entertain such messages, but to rather ignore them completely. Clicking links from unsolicited messages can expose consumers to malicious software that has intentions of getting personal identifiable information. Consumers are strongly advised to refrain from requesting for videos/photos that have gone viral on social media through posting their mobile numbers as this makes them susceptible to cyber-crime. We would like to assure members of the general public that the Authority is collaborating with Bank of Zambia, the Zambia Police and mobile network providers to ensure that the people responsible for these crimes are brought to book.”

         

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