ZICTA says 140,000 SIM cards deactivated over fraudulent use by cyber scammers


The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) says it has deactivated 140,000 SIM cards from October 2022 to date for cyber related fraud.

This comes after introduction of a short code in October last year to allow consumers report suspected numbers related to cyber-attack and fraud.

ZICTA had received over 150, 000 reports from consumers using the short code *101# from October last year to date, Authority Manager Corporate Communication, Hanford Chaaba, said in an interview on Friday at the ongoing 95th Agriculture and Commercial Show.

According to Chaaba, the introduction of the code was a way of giving power to consumers to report any suspected number related to cyber-attack and cyber fraud.

Read more: Information and Communications Technology Authority dragged to court for alleged invasion of privacy

“This code was introduced in October last year and we are very happy with the way the code has been utilised. The response has been fantastic because from October to where we are, we have over 150, 000 reports of which 140,000 SIM cards have been deactivated.

“Now when you see 140,000 SIM cards being deactivated, it means consumers are busy reporting but there is another side to it, in as much as we are reporting these messages, scammers are also busy sending message,” he said.

Chaaba, therefore, encouraged, consumers to continue reporting the suspected numbers and not complain as they had power to fight the bad vice.

He also pointed out that ZICTA had observed that cyber related scams were being perpetrated by certain behaviour of consumers.

Chaaba said that ZICTA had deactivated over 2.1 million SIM cards from the time the Authority started dealing with scams.

Meanwhile, Chaaba said: “we have embarked on digital literacy where we tell consumers practically giving them skill on how they can take advantage of ICT platforms

“We noted that part of the reasons scammers have continued is because maybe consumers do not have enough information about how best they can protect themselves. We need active involvement of consumers to deal with this vice.”

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