Public urged to be concerned about mobile security

By Yaw Ansah, GNA

Accra, March 15, GNA
– 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.

GNA

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