COVID-19: NITDA warns Nigerians against fraudulent websites

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Blessing Olaifa, Abuja

 

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Thursday raised the alarm on the creation of fraudulent websites by some unscrupulous Nigerians to capitalize on the Covid-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting citizens.

The Agency in a statement signed by its Head of Media, Hajiya Umar Hadiza, said NITDA is doing everything possible to shut down the identified websites and bring those behind them to book.

Hajiya Hadiza said:” in NITDA’s efforts at ensuring a 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 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.

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“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.

“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 calls 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”.