The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned citizens to be wary of a syndicated group looking to swindle victims under the guise of a “Davido-sponsored airtime giveaway”.
Davido, an Afropop star, recently made headlines after he announced that he would donate N250 million raised from a social media fundraiser to orphanages across Nigeria.
In a statement signed by Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s public affairs director, the commission said swindlers are on the prowl to take advantage of the singer’s gesture in advancing their fraudulent schemes.
He also said the group operates by putting out an advertorial urging the general public to claim a gift by clicking links that supposedly redirect them to network sites where they will be credited with airtime and data.
“This is a scam. Exploiting Davido’s benevolence, a group of scammers rolled out an advertorial titled ‘Davido Airtime and Data Giveaway’, which went viral,” the statement read in part.
“The NCC wishes to advise our teeming telecom consumers to have nothing to do with the advert or any similar bogus enticements.”
Ikechukwu said the adverts are designed to fetch people’s MSISDN and other information that fraudsters can use to defraud telecom consumers.
The MSISDN is the full phone number of a cellphone, in addition to other protocol information.
This number is unique and identifies subscribers/owners in a GSM or other mobile networks.
“It suffices to state that any unscrupulous person or unethical hacker can use the number and attendant protocol to undermine the privacy of the real owners of the number through identity theft and other scams,” Ikechukwu added.
“The NCC, therefore, reiterates its earlier warning to telecom consumers to be cautious and not to let their guards down. If a promo or an offer seems too good to be true, then it is likely untrue.
“[NCC] will not rest on its oars in empowering telecom consumers with the requisite information and education in order to protect them from cybercriminals determined to use the telecom platforms to perpetrate frauds.”