TUE, MARCH 31 2020-theG&BJournal- The Inspector General of Police, (IGP) M.A Adamu has asked Nigerians to remain vigilant and take precautionary measures against criminal elements who might explore the emergency situation to created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to increase and diversify their criminal activities.
The IGP’s advice is informed by intelligence at the disposal of the Force which suggests that fraud and cybercrime are expected to rise at this time owing to the lockdown put in place by the Federal Government at all levels to contain the pandemic.
According to Police Force, intelligence obtained from 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. Victims are then asked to pay via bank transfer.
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, and use strong passwords for securing emails and social media handles.
He also enjoined citizens to keep their software updated, including antivirus software, properly manage their social media settings and review privacy and security settings.
A statement by the Police Force Monday say the IGP has placed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), Abuja on red alert.
‘’The NCB which houses the cybercrime unit of the Force shall in the coming days and beyond work closely with other Interpol member states across the globe particularly to carry out intense monitoring of the internet highway in the most legitimate and ethical manner,’’ the Police Force said.
The Police said the measure is to engender concerted efforts in cracking down on individuals or all forms of organized criminal gangs that may want to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to perpetrate crimes.
The Force also urged 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.