By Etuka Sunday
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has alerted Nigerians on the fake Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief Disbursement Data Collection Form trending on the Social Media.
NITDA said, the online data collection form was initiated by fraudsters who are capitalizing on the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
It said, “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 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 said.
The Agency said, it was 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.
The Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, NITDA, Mrs Hadiza Umar in a statement said: “as enshrined in NITDA’s enabling Act, the Agency is responsible for ensuring a 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.
“As a general precautionary measure, Internet users are advised to observe the following: not to give out their personal information to any unverified data collection platform; avoid clicking unknown links; disregard offers requesting 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.
“The Agency further calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the Federal Government in its efforts at containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“We are all encouraged to strictly adhere to recommendations given by health experts and follow updates from relevant agencies handling this outbreak, especially the Presidential Task
Force on COVID-19 (PTF COVID-19) and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy,” the statement said.