The Nigerian Communications Commission has said it will prosecute telemarketers who illegally access the telephone numbers of telecom subscribers for commercial activities and gains.

It stated that the claim that the telemarketers obtained telecom consumers’ phone numbers from the commission was false. The NCC disclosed this in a public notice titled, ‘Unauthorised use of telecom subscribers’ phone numbers and other personal information by telemarketers,’ and signed by the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta.

The commission explained that it fully abided by the principles and rules guiding the protection of privacy for consumers of telecommunications services, and no service provider or telemarketer was authorised to invade, harvest, or use subscriber data in any form or guise without the express approval of the consumer, except otherwise provided by law.

It said, “The protection of the data of telecom subscribers by the Commission is guaranteed in Section 35 (1) of the Consumer Code of Practice Regulations, 2007; Section 9 (1) of the Nigerian Communications (Registration of Communications Subscribers) Regulations,2022; and Section 4.2 (a) & (b) of the NCC’s Internet Code of Practice.

“Therefore, any telemarketer involved in harvesting telecom subscribers’ phone numbers and other personal details through dishonest means and using such for commercial purposes without regulatory approval is hereby strongly warned to desist from his illegal act, as anyone found guilty shall be arrested and prosecuted in keeping with the law.”

The NCC advised telecom consumers to activate the Do-Not-Disturb short code introduced by it to manage their subscription to Value Added Services with the option to stop unsolicited text messages and other telemarketing offers.

It added, “This can be done by sending STOP to 2442 Short Code for FULL DND. Telecom consumers, who observe such illegal activities by telemarketers, are also encouraged to report such cases to the commission by calling the NCC Toll-Free Number 622 for necessary enforcement actions.”

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