MTN Nigeria steps up fight against identity theft with new personal security number

Integrated telecommunications firm MTN Nigeria has started issuing 16-digit security numbers to its subscribers to prevent scammers and hackers from stealing customers’ identities for fraud, the company announced at an event in Nigeria’s capital Lagos.

MTN said the new security numbers would give customers a better experience on the network by empowering them to resolve issues via phone calls made to the customer care centre, or through the Internet.

According to the company’s customer relations executive, Akin Braithwaite, MTN Security Number opens the door to a world of convenience and Do It Yourself (DIY) for MTN customers.

He said customers now have full access to the network’s entire service channels such as the various Walk-in centres across the country, 180 Customer Care Help line, Web SelfService and My IVR-181.

The security number consists of a 12 digit customer identification number and 4 totally unique and personal security key digits. Braithwaite said that the company is already forwarding the digits to customers via SMS.

The company’s general manager for corporate affairs, Funmi Omobegbigun urged customers using registered lines but yet to receive their MTN Security Number to visit any MTN Walk-in Centre or call the network’s toll free ’180′ customer care.

She said subscribers would receive their security number after they’ve been verified as the true owner of the lines.

Braithwaite hailed MTN for being the first telco to introduce security numbers in Nigeria, saying the idea had been conceived for some years but was delayed by processes and time-dependent system design, development and testing to ensure smooth and error-free implementation.

To ensure its effectiveness, MTN has urged its subscribers to guard and protect the security number.

“They must protect it, keep it private and not disclose it to anyone as MTN Nigeria will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting from the disclosure of the number to third parties,” Braithwaite stated.

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