The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has warned the general public, especially those in the cyber space, about the existence of fake websites trying to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, NITDA, disclosed this on Monday, in a statement signed by Mrs Hadiza Umar, head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations.
Mallam Abdullahi revealed that the agency identified the activities of these fake/phishing websites through its Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT).
According to him, “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 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.”
He further stated that they are making efforts to checkmate cyber security threats and possible data breach under Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
Mallam Abdullahi also advised Internet users 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 Director General however 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 psndemic,” he added.