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Beware of e-commerce platforms selling coronavirus products- IGP

By Monsuru Olowoopejo
As Federal and State Governments adopt different strategies to flatten the coronavirus curve, Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu, asked Nigerians, commercial banks and other corporate organisations to urgently strengthen security of their online website and e-Mail, to prevent been hacked by cybercrime experts.
Adamu further hinted that the Scammers have started adopting strategies to take advantage of coronavirus outbreak globally to create illegal platforms with attractive medical products, claiming it could help prevent the virus.
In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, the IGP, on Sunday, added that the Scammer could also use names of prominent Nigerians to establish the platform with the aim to convince the public that the platform is genuine.
While stating that the warning was based on intelligence at the disposal of the Force, he said “scammers in Nigeria and other parts of the globe have 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”.
According to him, they use the names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of these items. Victims are then asked to pay via bank transfer.
The IGP noted that efforts by the subscriber to get delivery for product paid will later proved abortive.
To prevent anyone from gaining access to banks, the Force enjoins commercial bank operators to strengthen their online banking security systems and report promptly any suspected case of fraud and other cybercrime related activities in their banks.
Also, the IGP urged Nigerians to avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments.
“Ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely; Use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles and Keep your software updated, including antivirus software”.
Aside from these, Adamu appeal that Nigerians manage their social media settings and review privacy and security settings.
“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.
“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.
“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;
“Be mindful of fake news, deliberate misinformation/disinformation and avoid circulating untrusted and unverified messages on your social media handles, educate your family, especially your children, about how to stay safe online and offline and if you become a victim, ensure prompt report to the police”.

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