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Be cautious of fake websites promising COVID-19 funds – NITDA

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has warned Nigerians to be cautious of fake websites in circulation, trying to use the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

In a report by leadership.ng, NITDA’s head of corporate affairs and external relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, said 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,” it said.

The report further said that NITDA’s efforts to checkmate cyber security 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 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 intensify their efforts in supporting the federal government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, adding Nigerians 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.

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