The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) claims to have disconnected over two million SIM cards across the country and said these were illegally registered.
ZICTA consumer protection and compliance manager Edgar Mlauzi said the organisation is “working tirelessly” to combat digital fraud.
He said the deactivated SIM cards belong to subscribers who had more than ten SIM cards under one name, and which the Authority believes are used to commit fraud.
Mlauzi said from the time the SIM cards were deactivated, the volume of spam or suspected scam messages had dropped. “The authority has received a number of complaints from people who have been defrauded but ZICTA is doing everything possible to address the situation. Scammers send unsolicited messages to members of the public using the SMS platform by using fraudulently registered SIM cards which compromises the safety of others users of electronic communication services.”
Last month, the Authority said it was compelled to take action in order to combat mobile money fraud and would continue to deactivate SIM cards of people who have not complied with the rule of no more than ten SIM cards per person without just cause.
According to ZICTA, Zambia has continued to record increased use of digital financial services with mobile money transactions increasing to K105.6-billion by the end of last year from K49.6-billion in 2019, representing a 113% increase.
Bank of Zambia payment systems department manager Maria Katepe said the Central Bank is promoting digital financial services particularly mobile money services which she said “is the appropriate vehicle through which people can access financial services.”