Ghanaian Public Advised on Mobile Security


In order to overcome challenges associated with Mobile Money service, subscribers were on Friday advised to change their Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) at least once every month.

Subsequently, mobile money subscribers have been cautioned not to save their PIN codes in their mobile devices, as well as desist from sharing or giving their PIN and Tokens with others.

Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, gave the advice at an event held in Accra to commemorate this year’s World Consumer Right Day (WCRD), a day dedicated to highlight and raise awareness on issues concerning consumers.

It was on theme: “Trusted Smart Products,” which highlighted how smart products are changing not only the way of life but also how “we work and play”.

Mr Ashigbey warned the public to be vigilant and not discuss their wallet or financial details with anybody over the telephone.

“We should be quick to report fraudulent numbers to the toll-free short code 419 for immediate resolution. Let me repeat, if you have a number call or text and purport to scam you, send the number to the shortcode “419” for investigation by the industry fraud team,” he said.

He appealed to individuals who have not yet registered their SIM Cards to seize the opportunity of this event to do so and also cautioned the public against the purchase of pre-registered SIM Cards since it was fraudulent.

“We entreat the public to report any persons that are trading in pre-registered SIM cards to the police and mobile network operators. Pre-registered SIM cards compromises everyone on the network and, as an industry, we are committed to working together to fight this menace,” he added.

With the growing economic and social importance of mobile services, particularly the mobile internet and mobile financial services, Mr Ashibey said there was a corresponding demand from stakeholders to ensure that the over 41 million connected SIM cards on Ghana’s market could continue to enjoy services safely and securely.

He stated that consumers had rights and equally had responsibilities, and assured that the players in the sector would ensure their data privacy was not compromised.

“Consumers are an important part of any economy and to create a healthy economy, the mobile industry is committed to making consumers happy as we demonstrate today,” he said.

Mr Emmanuel Adjei, the Chief Officer for Regulatory Affairs, Airtel Tigo, urged the public to desist from buying fake or counterfeit phones because they were usually made from sub-standard materials.

Such devices, he explained, were usually also not tested and certified for safety and were often made from cheap components, which were not from the genuine brand owners.

He said fake devices impacted on the quality of service delivered by the network operators and, thereby, offering customers poor user experience.

“Given the uniform appearance of most mobile phone batteries and chargers, and the fact that counterfeit or fake mobile phone manufacturers imitate all facets of a branded phone’s appearance to make their products appear genuine, it can be difficult to identify what products are fake and which are genuine.”

Mr Adjei entreated the public to buy their mobile phone devices and accessories from trusted and licensed equipment manufacturers and dealers where the customer can verify the authenticity of the products.

Mr Kofi Kapito, the Chief Executive Officer of Consumer Rights Protection Agency, in a speech read on his behalf, said Ghana had not yet to passed the consumer rights/competitions Bill and appealed to government to pay attention to it to protect consumers.

“The rights of the consumer should be of utmost importance to the Government, who holds the collective trust of its people…we are not really enforcing the laws,” he said.

“Some good apps can accurately check your health status but on the other hand, there are others perpetrating fraud and infringing on consumers privacy.”

“The emergence of online sales outlets, mostly dealing in electrical/smart products, have little or no policy in protecting the consumer against counterfeit brands. Most of these online shops are also defrauding consumer, orders are never delivered though paid for by clients.”

“The Ghanaian consumer is being exploited, without recourse to proper redress and compensation plan.”

Mr Kapito said there was no warranty on 90 per cent of smart products on the Ghanaian market, whiles in other cases the popular discrimination tag “goods sold out are not returnable” was boldly displayed on receipts across the country.

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