By Cyber Era Reporter
Telecommunications sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has sensitized Nigerians, especially telecoms consumers, to the availability of a fraudulent website spreading fraudulent message on the Internet.
Information seen by Cyber Era and signed by the Director of Public Affairs(DPA) at the NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, says the fake website (https://covid-19-fg-grant.blogspot.com/?=1) is asking Nigerian citizens to apply for a free Internet bundle ostensibly being given by the Nigerian government in collaboration with the Commission.
Stated the fraudulent website: “Nigerian government, in collaboration with NCC, is offering all Nigerian citizens up to 20GB of data to stay at home and get up-to-date information in a bid to counter the spread of COVID-19. All Nigeria citizens are entitled to free Internet connection to stay at home safely and enjoy the Internet in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19. The free Internet package is available to everyone starting from Friday, 27th March, 2020.”
The website deceptively asks Nigerians to apply for the free Internet by clicking a web link, which automatically takes them to a webpage with a dialogue box where they are expected to fill in their bio data and other demographics.
Distancing itself from fraudulent website, the NCC stated categorically that neither the Nigerian government nor the Commission had issued such a message to Nigerian citizens.
According to Dr. Nkemadu, the Commission strongly advised Nigerian citizens and all telecom consumers to beware of this fraudulent, false and spurious claim adding the general public should discountenance the falsehood which had gained traction by the rise in tempo of its circulation,” adding
“the message should be disregarded in its entirety. The said website is a sham and a total deception to dupe Nigerians of their hard-earned money, and to harness personal data for fraudulent purposes. “
Consistent with the consumer-centric policy of NCC, the DPA said the Commission wished to sensitise Nigerians to the antics of cyber criminals, who would want to take advantage of this challenging period of a rampaging pandemic, and the stay-at-home directive of the government to scam telecom consumers and the general public.
The NCC reiterated its commitment towards deepening access to telecoms services and its dedication to strengthening the protective measures it had instituted to safeguard the rights of over 128 million Internet users across mobile networks in Nigeria.