NCC Declares War on Call Masking, Retilling
…Says, It’s Smuggling
By Gina Emmanuel
Telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has described call masking and call retilling as smuggling.
The commission has also issued stern warning to erring operators and allegedly frausters who engage in such malpractice to either desist from such act or be ready for arrest by security operatives.
This was disclosed in Lagos by the NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau Mr Abdullahi Maikano during the fourth quarterly open forum of the Industry Consumer Advisory Forum(ICAF), tagged: ‘Telecoms Consumer Dispute Resolution and Redress Mechanism’.
According to him, just like any country borders, every telecommunication network has a border, where call is made and terminates. The call is carried and delivered to the desired destination.
Maikano, who is also the designates NCC officer ICAF, warned that any operator who fails to pay legitimately to other operators or through such calls are traced would be liable for sanction or beyond that.
He stressed that the two practices were rampant among telecoms companies but constitute fraud, especially in the area of settling interconnectivity bills between them just as it becomes irritating to subscribers.
NCC maintained that call masking is illegal, saying “It is a way to either disguise the telephone number or display it as a different number as is the case for many companies who use what are known as non-geographical numbers. While call refiling is a form of interconnect fraud in which one carrier tampers with CID (caller-ID) or ANI data to falsify the number from which a call originated before handing the call off to a competitor”. Adding that the essence of the forum is to help the growth of the telecoms sector.
However, a representative of Ntel denied that call masking emanates from any telecoms provider but allegedly from fraudsters who pay local rates.
“We are doing all best possible in collaboration with NCC to arrest them”, she said.