The Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), the Government Consumer Affairs Personnel and GSM Communications service providers over the weekend hosted residents of Caryesburg, Montserrado County in an interactive forum to create awareness against fraudsters and cyber-crime syndicates.
The program was attended by the LTA, Lonestar Cell MTN and Orange Liberia marketing personnel, as well as market women, students, government officials, and motorcyclists.LTA Commissioner Israel Akinsanya urged residents and business entities in Careysburg District that their first point of contact for complaints should be the telecommunications service provider, not the regulatory agency.
Commissioner Akinsanya also urged the residents to report grey routed numbers by making use of the SMS reporting system. He explained that grey routing is the illegal termination of international calls which appear on a phone as a local number.
He pointed out that these calls bypass the proper channels and prevent the Government of Liberia from tracking their origin and such a scam robs both the Liberian government and service providers of hundreds of thousands of United States dollars annually.
In an overview of the LTA consumer Affairs forum, Director of Government and Consumer Affairs, Anthony Flahn, noted that whenever one gets a call that alerts one of winning a gift or a prize from a telecommunications company, the alleged winner must contact the service provider to confirm it.
Mr. Flahn said no telecommunications company will ever ask the public for money or recharge cards to pay for any winnings. This he described as a scam and should be reported to the service provider.
During the program, the two leading telecommunications companies made presentations and highlighted their services, products and promotions.
In the first presentation, Mr. Ibrahim Daramie, Manager, Marketing Services at Lonestar Cell MTN, presented several products and services that his entity is giving to its customers and urged the audience to take advantage of them in order to make communication affordable and for them to be easily connected.
Daramie said the Lonestar Cell MTN will continue to make its communication facilities and equipment user-friendly in all parts of the country.At the end of his presentation, Daramie and Madam Laureine Guilao distributed to each member in the audience one US dollar scratch card as a gesture to secure their support to always seek Lonestar Cell MTN products.
Orange Liberia’s representative Anthony Daniel Tamba said his company has provided unique and splendid products and services to Liberians and foreign residents as a manifestation of their uninterrupted services over the years.
In a statement, Julius S. Luke of the National Telecommunications Consumers Association’s (NATELCO) pledged to work with residents and telecommunications stakeholders to ensure better services to all Liberians in the country.
Mr. Luke cautioned service provider executives to always strive at every level to provide affordable and efficient services that will improve the people’s socio-economic conditions in the country.In response, a representative of Careysburg thanked the LTA and the two telecommunications companies for organizing the forum, describing it as fruitful.
–Editing by Jonathan Browne