The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has cautioned members of the public against emerging online fraudulent tactics being explored by Internet fraudsters in the wake of the donations arising from the dreaded COVID- 19 pandemic.
The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, who disclosed the development on Monday, April 6, stated that the caution has become necessary, in view of the increasing number of complaints received by the Commission from innocent Nigerians falling prey to the antics of internet fraudsters, who are taking advantage of the pandemic to defraud unsuspecting targets.
In the last couple of days, home-bond internet users have complained of receiving several e-mails, sms, Whatsapp messages offering free services such as “Do-It-Yourself” Covid-19 tests; subscription to either Netflix, hulu, DSTV, Government Intervention/Grant of N30, 000 and other tricky offers.
Some of the fraudulent schemes are coming in the form of links that offer free data or request for the Bank Verification Number, BVN, and account details of their victims, assuring that such victims will be credited with money, as part of the federal government’s palliatives to cushion the effects of the running stay-at-home order.
According to Magu, many of the fraudulent online messages require recipients to click and fill out an online survey and forward same to ten 10 WhatsApp users.
The statement reads in part: “The messages are embedded with malwares and other malicious codes which when clicked, trigger a programme that steals and compromises mails, banking logins passwords, credit- related information and other critical data contained on the recipient’s devices.
“Victims stand the risk of losing both confidential information and monies, since unauthorised access may have been granted to cybercriminals. They are also in danger of being infected with a ransomware which will automatically lock their electronics device.”
Magu further advised the general public to immediately take the following steps in protecting their data from theft and compromises: Do not open unsolicited e-mails and click only on those that are from known and trusted sources; Do not click on any links or attachment with e-mails from unknown source; Take a closer look at URLs for spelling errors before clicking; If you need any information, go to the official website of the organization; Turn on personal Firewall on your devices.