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Monday, 17 June 2013 00:00
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MTN discontinues SIM swap by proxy

Nigeria’s leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company, MTN, has communicated the decision to discontinue SIM swaps by proxy effective from June 7, 2013. After this date, customers who wish to ‘swap’ or replace their SIM cards as a result of their phones being stolen, destroyed or mislaid must do so in person.

 The decision was taken in order to protect customers’ data and preserve the overall integrity of the SIM swap process.

MTN Corporate Services Executive, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, at a press conference in Lagos, explained that in recent months, unscrupulous elements have started to exploit the proxy SIM swap process and that there have been incidents of unauthorized people fraudulently obtaining SIM cards belonging to others.

“The implication of this decision is that customers will now have to appear in person at the service outlets nearest to them to request and obtain new SIM cards. Such requests will be treated promptly after proper ID validation from the SIM registration database, and upon presentation of valid identification such as ID card, international passport or driver’s licence,” said Goodluck.

He added that the customer would also be required to answer security questions before a new SIM card is issued.

Speaking in the same vein, MTN Customer Relations Executive, Mr Akin Braithwaite said that the organization takes the issue of customer and data security very seriously. He said that a significant number of SIM swap-related fraud was committed by people who are very close to the victims and have access to their personal data. He added that the new requirement that customers effect SIM swaps in person would check the activities of fraudsters in this regard.

Goodluck also called on mobile phone subscribers to urgently register their SIMs in view of the impending NCC deadline of 30th of June, 2013 or risk the suspension of their mobile lines. He urged customers to register all SIM cards in their possession including those in phones, laptops, dongles, POS machines and all other SIM-enabled devices.

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