Recently, I have been getting calls from individuals claiming to represent MTN Nigeria and seeking to confirm some information pertaining to my SIM registration. The first time, I received such a call, the number appeared like a typical land-line phone number with Lagos code. Since, then it has consistently remained another 4 digits number – 0180. Well I picked the calls twice and the conversation generally went like this –
Caller: Good morning, My name is ABC and I am calling from MTN. Am I speaking with Mr. XYZ (With the mention of my name by a person using an unconfirmed number, my alert signal was already triggered)?
XYZ: [Responding cautiously] Good morning. Yes, XYZ speaking. How may I help you?
Caller: I just want to confirm some information about your SIM registration
XYZ: [Still hesitant] Please go on
Caller: Where did you register your SIM card? [Then] Can you tell me the name of the Local Government where you registered [And this is where the trouble starts]?
Afterward, more questions follow. Examples are: Can you tell me your State of Origin? Can you confirm that you reside at this address – No. 1, ABCD…? If your answer is No, the next one would be – What is your current residential address?
The first time, I had to cut the line at a point because I was not comfortable providing such personal information to someone I don’t know and whose mission I could not confirm as genuine. The second time, I just told the caller point-blank to leave me alone.
Eventually, I decided to call the MTN Call Center to report and confirm if these calls are genuine and they did confirm that they were. But it begs the questions; are there no better, safer and more secure ways to get personal data from your customers than just calling them out-of-the-blue with a number they cannot immediately validate as being from MTN and asking such direct private questions?
I am not sure if I overacted but we live in a strange world and an insecure society where you have to be on your toes at all times. Notwithstanding, I still think there should be a better way of going about this and the earlier MTN gets this right the better for their staff as well as the customers.