The Network of Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has warned that fraud and cybercrime are expected to be on the rise especially at this time owing to the lockdown placed by governments at all levels to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.
The National Coordinator, NOPRIN, Mr. Ikule Emmanuel who gave the warning in a statement in Lagos recently disclosed that scammers in Nigeria and other parts of the globe had begun to create and set up fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, fake social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver (Covid-19) medical products.
Emmanuel observed that in some cases, they use the names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of these items asking victims to pay via bank transfer.
“NOPRIN therefore enjoins the public to strictly adhere to the following security tips: i. Avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments; ii. Ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely; iii. Use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles; iv. Keep your software updated, including antivirus software; v. Manage your social media settings and review your privacy and security settings; vi. You are advised to be wary of scammers who use names of prominent companies to create fraudulent websites, e-commerce platforms, social media accounts and emails claiming to sell and deliver medical products; vii. You are advised to ignore and report calls purportedly emanating from a caller who pretends to be a relative currently being treated at hospital asking you to pay for the cost of the medical treatment by transferring money or by paying cash to fake public health representatives; viii. Do not open letters or emails related to the pandemic from unknown persons who claim to be health authorities. Often times criminals access sensitive information, steal personal information and steal funds of victims by tricking them into connecting to a specific webpage and logging-in with their credentials; ix. Be mindful of fake news, deliberate misinformation and avoid circulating untrusted and unverified messages on your social media handles; x. Educate your family, especially your children, about how to stay safe online and offline; xi. If you become a victim, ensure prompt report to the police.”
While appreciating efforts of the Nigeria Police Force in providing support services to relevant agencies saddled with the task of curtailing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, he urged members of the public to report human rights abuses by Law enforcement officers to email@example.com.
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