Coronavirus: Nigeria alerts residents on fake relief disbursement data collection form

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) office

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has drawn the attention of Nigerians to a fraudulent online data collection form that is capitalizing on the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

NITDA said in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations Mrs Hadiza Umar, said “the information being circulated which has now gone viral on various social media platforms, request users to provide their personal data such as phone number, email address, bank details etc.

“This, the information indicates, that it is for the users to access various Government palliatives aimed at cushioning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This site is fraudulent site and Nigerians are advised to be wary of such online requests. Governments at all levels have established channels of collecting information for the purpose of disbursing palliatives.

NITDA further said 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 safe and secure cyberspace for all Nigerians and residents. The Agency is, therefore, doing everything possible to shut down all identified fraudulent online platforms as well as sanction those behind them.

“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 cyber crime”, the statement said.

The Agency further called on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the Federal Government in its efforts towards 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)”, the statement added.

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