The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said a fraudulent online data collection form that is capitalizing on the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians is presently in circulation.

NITDA in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, noted that the form, 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.

According to NITDA, the information in the form requests 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.

“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.”

NITDA also advised   Internet users to take general precautionary measure and observe the following:

  • not to give out their personal information to any unverified data collection platform;
  • avoid clicking unknown links;
  • disregard offers to request 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.

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