Shun suspicious messages, TCRA urges mobile phone users

ARUSHA: The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has called on the public to be on a high alert with mobile phone scam in the country.

While acknowledging that through mobile communication frauds had decreased by 17 per cent, the regulator urged the public to remain vigilant and report such scammers to authorities.

Briefing reporters here on Tuesday on the sidelines of National Financial Services Week, TCRA’s Senior Chief Communication’s officer Semu Mwakyanjala, said it was important for mobile phone users to tread carefully when coming across such fraudsters.

“Members of the public have been urged to take precautions whenever they receive such messages as the regulator tries to address it”, he said.

According to the TCRA official, fraudsters target mobile phone users to follow instructions for sending or resending money via USSD to a fraudster number.

USSD is a communication technology used to send a text between a mobile device and an application program in the network.

Fraudsters have gained expertise in intercepting mobile banking data during transmission.
“While mobile money transfers have become a source of fortune, some are exploiting it to rob others of their hard-earned money”, observed Mr Mwakyanjala.

The TCRA official further urged members of the public to shun such suspicious messages lest they fall prey to the scammers.

In May this year, the regulator recorded a drop of fraud through mobile phones from 12,000 in December 2022 to 10,000 in January of this year, demonstrating the effectiveness of the measures implemented to control online frauds.

This was attributed to organization’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding the safety and interests of users of communication services countrywide.

Apart from reporting fraudulent messages, the regulator has placed significant emphasis on crucial role of telecommunication service users and operators in maintaining exclusive communication through the designated number 100.

This proactive measure aims to guarantee that users solely engage with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), thereby minimizing the risk of falling prey to fraudulent activities.

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