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Don’t mind them, this report is Fake News

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has warned the general public of cyber criminals exploiting the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak to mislead and defraud unsuspecting victims.

This is in the wake of the recent COVID-19-related fake news in circulation tagged “Argentina Is Doing It”, being circulated over social media, particularly on WhatsApp, and aimed at causing panic and inducing terror in individuals.

The message warns the recipient not to open a video file called ”Argentina Is Doing It” as it will hack their phone in 10 seconds. Furthermore, in order to lend credibility to the message, the message falsely claims that the Cable News Network (CNN) also reported it.

In a statement issued by Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, the message has been identified as fake as it exhibits some of the following characteristics of fake/hoax messages:

The message content includes instructions to forward the message;

The sender claimed some kind of affiliation with a credible source or organization;
The message aims to induce panic or shock the recipient, often making impossible claims or serious consequences about the effect of the virus or malicious software; and
The messages contains alarming languages tending to emphasize the urgent nature of the threat.


Don't mind them, this report is Fake News

The general public is therefore urged to disregard the “Argentina Is Doing It”as there is no CNN article regarding the hoax. Furthermore, the message is a variant of a similar message in circulation since 2017.

NITDA therefore call on well-meaning Nigerians to support the Federal Government’s efforts at containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country by not spreading fake news, and encouraged the publics to strictly adhere to recommendations given by health experts, and follow updates from verified sources of the relevant agencies handling this outbreak.

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