The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has alerted Nigerians that there are existing fake websites in circulation, trying to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
The federal government agency that coordinates general IT development and regulation in the country, said the Agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) identified the number of websites using various phishing tricks to attract Internet users in its effort at ensuring safe and secure Nigerian cyberspace.
NITDA revealed that one of such tricks is misinforming the public that the Federal Government has approved the disbursement of funds under a fictitious vote called “Lockdown Funds”. It then requires the user to complete an online form with their personal information including bank details for the payment to be effected.
“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,” it said in a statement signed by Mrs. Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations.
Furthermore, in NITDA’s efforts to checkmate cybersecurity threats and possible data breach under Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), Internet users are advised to observe the following:
- not to give out their personal information to anyone online;
- avoid clicking unknown links;
- disregard offers to request for their bank details; and
- know what to do when they become victims of cybercrime.
The Agency calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to intensify their efforts in supporting the Federal Government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all encouraged to strictly adhere to the recommendations given by health experts, and follow updates from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and other relevant agencies involved in the management of the pandemic.