Mobile users in Nigeria have appealed to the country’s regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to investigate the upsurge in fabricated Short Message Service (SMS) flooding the mobile telecommunications sector.
Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), proclaimed in a statement that fabricated SMSs “constituted a serious menace to the society.”
Most of the messages that mobile subscribers receive, warning them not to use their fingernails to scratch off the coatings on mobile recharge cards, as the messages claim they contain a substance called Silver Nitro oxide that could cause skin cancer.
“The information in the warning message is untrue because the coating on scratch tickets is made of specialised latex inks. There are no credible references to a compound called “Silver Nitro oxide”, and there are no credible medical or scientific reports that suggest that scratch ticket coating has been linked to skin cancer,” he said in the statement.
“Also, there are no credible references to any organisation known as the ‘Medical Research Authority of the U.S. The warning is a hoax and should not be forwarded,” Ogunbanjo explained.
Another hoax message urge users to switch off the mobile phones, as cosmic rays from Mars to the Earth might adversely affect people.
“Thus, this supposed health warning is nothing more than one more sad bit of utterly pointless Internet junk and certainly should not be reposted. This is becoming very worrisome and a serious concern to the telecommunications industry,” Ogunbanjo concluded.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor