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Alert | Nigeria Notifies Public About Five Websites Collecting and Selling Citizens’ Identity Data

Local reports state that five websites are on the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) list for allegedly fraudulently obtaining Nigerians’ data.

In a statement, NIMC Head of Corporate Communication Kayode Adegoke said, “The public is urged to disregard any claims or services these websites offer and should not give their data as they are potentially fraudulent and data provided by the public on such websites is gathered and stored to build the data services they illegally provide.”

The five websites that were found were:

Their disclosure follows an exposé on of Nigerians’ identification information, including their National Identification Number (NIN), Bank Verification Number (BVN), and other data.for as little as N100. The recovery of NINs and personal data from the Nigerian identification database has been made profitable by this website.

In another expose in March 2024, the Foundation for Investigation Journalism (FIJ) said that, a private website, has unrestricted access to the National Identification Numbers (NINs) and personal details of every registered Nigerian. Anybody can retrieve details such as phone numbers, full names, NIN, address, and photographs of any Nigerian whose data is on the National Identity Database with as low as N200.

The dissemination of such information could result in identity theft, financial fraud, and other malicious activities, including data owners being targeted by burglars, kidnappers, or terrorists who purchase data that includes home addresses. Therefore, the unauthorised access to personal data is a flagrant violation of the privacy of Nigerian citizens. Furthermore, the stability of Nigeria’s banking system may be jeopardized by the internet availability of sensitive financial data.

The Commission (NIMC), however, asserted that contrary to Paradigm Initiative’s claims, sensitive information about Nigerians has not been compromised and that it has taken steps to better strengthen the NIN database. The Commission now reassures the public that no website or organization has been given permission to sell or misuse the National Identification Number (NIN) among all the identities listed in the report, and that no Nigerian citizen’s data has been compromised.

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