Cybersecurity: NITDA warns of unverified instant loan platforms

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has raised concerns over the need for the general public to beware of unverified instant loan apps and platforms, saying that some of them are fraudulent.
“Users must exercise caution, weigh the risks and hazards involved with such offers, particularly when they pose a serious risk to their lives,” Hadiza Umar, a spokesperson of NITDA, said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ms Umar said it was important for the people to become aware of the fraudulent activities of some instant loan apps as October is being marked globally as a cyber security awareness month.
She observed that people needing money might be tempted by the promise of hassle-free microfinance software that guarantees loans in minutes and does not require any paperwork or verification of signatures.
“Users need to be warned that many Instant Loan Apps use harsh, unethical methods to recover money,” she said.
She further said when an individual downloads such apps, in most cases, they need to permit the app to access their contact numbers, pictures, and location, among other requirements.
“They deploy measures like constant harassment and threats, sending notices, warnings to the borrower’s contacts and even threatening severe legal actions,” Umar said.
She said for people to stay secure against such platforms, they need to avoid downloading unregistered loan-based applications.
“If you must download, carry out a background check on the loan company running the app, and read and understand their terms and conditions before you accept
“Be cautious, as your contact details, photographs, and location can be copied by these money lenders.
“Ensure that these money lenders are Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) compliant,” Ms Umar advised.(NAN)