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COVID-19: NITDA warns against fraudulent relief disbursement data collection

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has warned the general public to beware of fraudulent form being circulated online for the disbursement of relief materials.

Mrs. Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA, gave the warning in a statement she signed on Tuesday in Abuja.

“NITDA wishes to draw the attention of the general public to yet another fraudulent online data collection form capitalising on the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

“The information being circulated 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.

“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 a fraudulent site and Nigerians are advised to be wary of such online requests,” Umar said.

According to her, government at all levels have established channels of collecting information for the purpose of disbursing palliatives.

She said that the lockdown period observed both nationally and at the global level had increased the activities of cyber criminals.

The official reiterated that the agency was ensuring a safe, secure cyberspace for all citizens and was shutting down all identified fraudulent online platforms as well as sanctioning them.

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Umar advised internet users to avoid giving out their personal information to any unverified data collection platform.

“Internet users should avoid clicking unknown links, disregard offers requesting for their bank details, avoid sharing any unverified information via social media platforms,” she said.

She also called on Nigerians to support the Federal Government in its efforts at containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country by adhering to recommendations by health experts.

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Augustine Aminu

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