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Macra moves to reduce digital fraud

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Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) says it will soon start registering handsets using the Central Equipment Identification Register to reduce digital fraud.

Macra Director General Daud Suleman said this Tuesday at a press briefing held in Blantyre as the world was commemorating Consumer Rights Day.

Suleman said the handset registration will be done alongside the ongoing Sim card registration.

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He said they were also in the process of synchronising data at the National Registration Bureau so that it is accessible to mobile, network providers for the purposes of sim card registration.

Sulamen said Macra noted that, in most cases, fraudsters use multiple Sim cards on a single handset and that they use national identity duplicate cards or dead people’s cards to register sim cards.

“Over the years, Malawi has been faced with proliferation of cybercrimes, specifically mobile money fraud; more so recently due to the Covid pandemic, which saw an increase in the usage of ICTs. As a regulatory body, Macra remains unrelenting and committed to developing systems and frameworks that make the digital space safe for all consumers,” Suleman said.

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He added that Macra was establishing a toll free line for complaints on broadcasting content which will also be used for reporting cyber-crimes including digital fraud.

The Consumer Rights Day was commemorated under the theme (Fair Digital Finance).

He notes that achieving fair digital finance requires global, collaborative and coordinated approach, saying it is rapidly evolving and complex in nature.

In a statement, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) also denounced increased cases of fraud on both mobile money and other digital financial platforms.

“We are therefore appealing to government to put in place strong regulatory systems in order to ensure that only genuine traceable business transactions are done online and with reputable institutions in order to allow the growth of these new digital financial technologies that have potential to increase financial inclusion in the country,” the statement reads.

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