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COVID-19: NITDA raises alarm over fake FG websites out to defraud Nigerians

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COVID-19: NITDA advises Nigerians on data backup to mitigate impact

The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has raised the alarm on the existence of fraudulent websites that are capitalizing on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

In a statement signed on Tuesday by the NITDA’s Head of Corporate Affairs & External Relations, Hadiza Umar, and made available to THE WITNESS said one of such tricks is misinforming the public that the Federal Government has ordered weekly payment of allowances for observing the ‘Stay At Home’ directive.

“In NITDA’s efforts at ensuring safe and secure Nigerian cyberspace, the Agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) identified a number of websites using various phishing tricks to attract Internet users.

“One of such tricks is misinforming the public that the Federal Government has ordered weekly payment of allowances to all citizens above the age of 18 for observing the ‘Stay At Home’ directive.

“It then requires the user to complete an online form with the personal information including bank details for the payment to be effected,” the statement noted.

The agency, therefore, called on Nigerian internet users to disregard all these online offers, stressing that in no condition should they provide their personal details to any of these sites.

“While NITDA is doing everything possible to shut down the websites identified as well as sanction those behind them, we call on the general public to disregard and report any such websites to the Agency for necessary action,” the statement added.

As a general precautionary measure, internet users are advised to observe the following:
Not to give out their personal information to anyone online;
Avoid clicking unknown links;
Disregard offers requesting for their bank details; and
Know what to do when they become victims of cybercrime.

The agency also called on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the Federal Government in its efforts at containing the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

“We are all encouraged to strictly adhere to recommendations given by health experts, and follow updates from relevant agencies handling this outbreak, the statement added.

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