Covid-19: NITDA warns on fake relief disbursement sites

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has warned that activities of cyber-criminals are on the increase in the country, hence the need to be careful and not release personal data online.
According to NITDA, another fraudulent online data collection form has been capitalizing on the Covid-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians— asking them to provide their personal data such as phone number, email address and bank details etc.
“The information being circulated which has now gone viral on various social media platforms, requests users to provide their personal data such as phone number, email address, bank details etc. 

“The information indicates that it is for the users to access various government palliatives aimed at cushioning the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. NITDA in a statement signed by head, corporate affairs and external relations Mrs Hadiza Umar said, “This site is fraudulent. Nigerians are advised to be wary of such online requests.

She stated that government at all levels have established channels of collecting information for the purpose of disbursing palliatives.
“It is clear that due to the lockdown and ‘Stay At Home’ directive being observed globally as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the activities of the cyber-criminals are on the increase. 

“As enshrined in NITDA’s enabling Act, the agency is responsible for ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace for all Nigerians and residents.
The agency said it is doing everything possible to shut down all identified fraudulent online platforms as well as sanction those behind them.” 
However, as a general precautionary measure, Internet users are advised to observe the following: • Not to give out their personal information to any unverified data collection platform; • Avoid clicking unknown links; • Disregard offers requesting for their bank details; • Not to share any unverified information via social media platforms; and• Know what to do when they become victims of cybercrime.

The agency further calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the federal government in its efforts at containing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic 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, especially the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 (PTF COVID-19) and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),” Umar added.

Leave a Reply