Coronavirus: IGP alerts Nigerians on new crime trends

Coronavirus: IGP alerts Nigerians on new crime trends

- Nigeria's police inspector-general, Mohammed Adamu, has urged Nigerians to beware of new crime patterns emerging from the current coronavirus pandemic

- Adamu said credible intelligence indicated that criminals are now using fake websites, social media profiles, etc. to defraud people by claiming to be selling Covdid-19 medical products

- The police chief, therefore, released 11-point security tips every Nigerian should adhere to in order to be safe

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has enjoined members of the public to remain vigilant and take precautionary actions against new criminal trends.

The police boss said criminal elements might explore the emergency situation created by the coronavirus pandemic to increase and diversify their criminal activities.

A statement signed by the police spokesperson Frank Mba and made available to on Sunday, March 29, indicates that the IGP’s advice is informed by the intelligence which suggests that fraud and cybercrime are expected to rise following the lockdown emplaced by the state governments over Covid-19.

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Coronavirus: IGP alerts Nigerians of possible increase in fraud

IGP alerts Nigerians of possible increase in fraud over coronavirus pandemic
Source: Original

According to the statement, intelligence obtained from the INTERPOL Headquarters shows that 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. gathers some of the scammers use the names of prominent companies involved in the production and distribution of Covid-19 items while they ask their victims to pay via bank transfer.

The IGP, therefore, enjoined Nigerians to strictly adhere to the following security tips:

1. Avoid opening suspicious emails and clicking on links in unrecognized emails and attachments;

2. Ensure proper back-up of online and offline files regularly and securely;

3. Use strong passwords for securing your emails and social media handles;

4. Keep your software updated, including antivirus software;

5. Manage your social media settings and review your privacy and security settings;

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6. 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;

7. 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;

8. 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;

9. Be mindful of fake news, deliberate misinformation/disinformation and avoid circulating untrusted and unverified messages on your social media handles;

10. Educate your family, especially your children, about how to stay safe online and offline;

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11. If you become a victim, ensure prompt report to the police.

Following the development, the police chief placed the commissioner of police in charge of the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), Abuja, on red alert.

The NCB is expected to work closely with other Interpol member states across the globe to carry out intense monitoring of the internet highway in the most legitimate and ethical manner.

The Nigeria police also enjoin 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.

While reaffirming the determination of the Nigeria police in providing support services to relevant agencies saddled with the task of curtailing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGP assures the public that the Force is unrelenting in clamping down on criminals who may want to take advantage of the situation to perpetrate criminal acts.

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Meanwhile, in line with the ban placed on large crowds in Lagos by the state government due to outbreak of coronavirus, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered the police to arrest anyone who violates the directive.

During a broadcast in Lagos on Friday, March 20, Sanwo-Olu said that such gatherings include social clubs, night clubs, event centres and others.

The governor said that to prevent the spread of the pandemic, the police have been given the go-ahead to arrest and disperse all such gatherings in the state. ( -> Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!

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