The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has warned Nigerians using the cyber space to beware of fake websites leveraging COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting citizens.
Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of the agency gave the warning on Tuesday in a statement in Abuja.
“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.
“This malicious site requires the user to complete an online form with their personal information including bank details for the payment to be effected,” she said.
Umar said that NITDA was doing everything possible to shut down the identified malicious websites and sanction the perpetrators.
According to her, the general public should disregard and report any such websites to the agency for necessary action.
“Also, in NITDA’s efforts to checkmate cyber security threats and possible data breach under Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), internet users are advised to avoid giving out their personal information to anyone online.
“It is advisable to avoid clicking unknown links, disregard offers requesting for their bank details and know what to do when they become victims of cybercrime,” she said.
She called on well-meaning Nigerians to intensify their efforts toward supporting the Federal Government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Umar encouraged Nigerians to strictly adhere to the recommendations given by health experts, and follow updates from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“Adhere to guidelines by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant agencies involved in the management of the pandemic,” she said.