LUSAKA, 3rd February 2020 – State-owned telecommunications company Zamtel says capturing facial biometrics of all mobile phone customers is an important step towards the prevention of mobile fraud.
Giving an update on the ongoing sim card verification exercise, Zamtel Head of Corporate Affairs and Government Relations Reuben Kamanga stressed that with growing reports of online fraud, having one’s sim details verified is a sure step towards curbing such cases.
Mr Kamanga said Zamtel is re-verifying customer details at all its outlets or activation point in accordance with ZICTA regulations to prevent mobile fraud.
He warned that customers that will fail to comply with the ZICTA directive will have their mobile numbers switched off by March 31st 2020.
Mr Kamanga said even those customers whose sim card details are inaccurate or incompletely registered should have their details verified or risk being deactivated.
He said Zamtel is offering an incentive to the affected customers of 1GB free data and/or 50 minutes free for onnet calls for updating their details.
Mr Kamanga said it is imperative that all customers with unverified details do so before end of March to avoid the inconvenience of losing their mobile phone service.
He stated that failure to register or verify the sim details is a breach of the law adding that Zamtel shall not provide any communication service to a person who fails or refuses to comply.
“The deadline is March 31st and it will be enforced at midnight. This is therefore to confirm that the deadline stands and all unregistered, unverified and un-validated SIM cards will be switched off. In other words, the holders of those cards will not be able to receive or make calls,” Mr Kamanga said.
He said customers can contact Zamtel Care Centre or activation points to know the status of their number.
“While mobile phone telecommunication is one of the most commonly used method of communication among citizens and has greatly revolutionized the way businesses are run, negative elements have also taken advantage of the same means of communication to plan, coordinate, finance and execute their criminal activities with ease,” he said.
He added, “The practice for the criminals has been to acquire new sim cards that either are unregistered in any names or fraudulently registered with wrong and falsified identities for use in the execution of their criminal operations and thereafter discard them so that they are not traced.”
Mr Kamanga reiterated that the sustainable solution to this criminality is to ensure that all sim cards and their users are properly registered using the correct identities.
“I am happy to report that good progress has been registered with many customers responding positively and as we approach the deadline of March 31st, our call is for all of our customers to comply.”