TCRA launches public awareness campaign to fight online fraud
Dar es Salaam. The Communications Regulatory Authority of Tanzania has launched a public education campaign to remind and educate users of communication services and citizens on the importance of using communication services carefully to avoid online fraud and to use networks productively to promote personal and national economic growth.
Earlier, during the International Trade Fair (DITF), also known as “SabaSaba”, the Director General of the Authority, Dr. Jabiri Bakari, emphasized the Authority’s intention to reduce cybercrime and to ensure cyberspace security, while Simon Sirro, the country’s former police chief, noted the police’s commitment to continue cooperation with the TCRA to ensure user safety.
At TCRA, we are committed to ensuring that cyberspace is safer and has a positive impact on our national economy, Dr. Bakari emphasized. “Cyberspace is a place where we have a lot of opportunities; the effective use of these online platforms can realize positive potentials of unlocking many benefits offered by this modern environment,” he noted.
Speaking on the campaign in Dar es Salaam, the Authority’s Communications and Public Relations Officer, Lucy Mbogoro, pointed out that the TCRA has worked hard to ensure that more residents receive information on the proper use , safe and productive Internet.
“The Communications Authority has realized that it is good for citizens to continue to have a broad understanding of how to avoid internet fraud, which is why we have come up with a campaign,” she insisted.
She pointed out that the main strategy of the campaign is to educate mobile communication service users to check their phone lines by dialing *106# and then following the on-screen instructions, as this would allow them to see all mobile phone numbers registered on their networks. She also said that if a communications service user learns of the existence of phone numbers that they do not know, they should contact their Internet service provider or mobile network operators agency to have those numbers removed.
“It is advisable to have your SIM cards verified because it is impossible to predict who would register their mobile phone numbers using your national identity number. This verification procedure is crucial to protect the security of users of mobile services. communication, especially in light of potential repercussions To ensure your safety while using communications, I urge my fellow Tanzanians to double-check your active SIM cards,” she stressed.
Regarding fraud which is sent through text messages asking the user of the service to send money or other messages with signs of fraud, she said that the user must enter the word “Fraud ” and send it to the number 15040. The user must then follow the instructions, which include entering the telephone numbers of those suspected of fraud. She pointed out that by doing this, the service user will have directly reported the fraud to the Online Fraud Unit.
“If you send fraudulent information directly to this number, the system will respond, and by reporting fraud through this short code, we as communication service users are helping law enforcement investigate and arrest fraudsters, thereby minimizing cyber fraud,” she said.
Thadayo Ringo, Head of Communication Users and Consumers for the Authority, stressed the importance of the campaign in reducing the incidences of fraud among users of communication services.
“We have always emphasized that when a Service User is contacted by phone, whether by text, voice call or social media, they should never interact with anyone they do not know. For example, if someone if someone sends you a link you don’t know. don’t recognize, don’t click on it; if someone calls to tell you that you won a lottery you didn’t participate in; don’t answer; if someone says your son is sick at school; and other similar incidents, don’t cooperate to avoid getting ripped off,” Mr. Ringo noted.
Further, he noted that before making a decision to buy anything online, users of the service should ensure that they are satisfied with the legitimacy of the merchant, including knowing their genuine address and registration.
Recently, we have heard of some users of online trading platforms who have been exploited. I urge customers of online stores to be more careful, especially those who order commercial goods in other countries without going there; they can use our Tanzanian offices abroad to authenticate the legitimacy of these online stores and avoid financial loss by paying scammers online, Ringo pointed out.
He pointed out that when making large purchases, such as those for a business, it is sometimes best for online shoppers to know if the online retailer from another country has an agent here in the country and to buy through through the agent rather than ordering directly.
The TCRA campaign is guided by a number of public education messages that emphasize the following: never send money to someone you don’t know; always check the message and phone number used to request money before making a transaction; always contact your mobile communication service provider at number 100 only; never follow instructions given through personal numbers regarding telecommunications services; never click on strange online links; and do not post the majority of personal information online.
The country’s former police chief, Simon Sirro, during the 2022 Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF), noted the country’s police commitment to advancing cooperation with the TCRA to ensure that users of communication networks are safe. “Those scammers who insist on ‘sending the money via this number’ should now be on alert as the police are awake; we will deal with them perpendicularly.”