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Spotlight Stories

Scam websites and how to identify them before inputting your card details

The goal of a scam website is either to get your personal information or financial information.

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The emergence of technology didn’t stop at just making daily life easy. It also introduced illicit activities such as scam websites.

Scam websites are illegal internet websites used to trick users into sharing their personal or financial data which would be used for fraudulent activities.

As much as the internet presents thousands of benefits, not everyone on the web operates with a noble purpose. Right among the useful ones are those created to carry out nefarious activities ranging from identity theft to financial fraud.

In this article, we will attempt to protect our readers by showing you how to identify these websites.

READ: Best payment gateway platforms to avoid scams in your business

How Scam Websites Operate

The goal of a scam website is either to get your personal information or financial information. Whichever, they operate by either giving out misleading information or by promising exciting rewards in exchange for a financial service.

They work in a way that misguides users and they are usually advertised to users via social media, emails, pop-ups, text messages, etc. SEO is sometimes manipulated to ensure that their sites appear in top positions during a web search.

READ: Loan scam: Lekoil Limited seals payment extension deal to prevent losing oilfield

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They use exciting baits to catch users’ attention and draw unsuspecting victims to the websites. Website visitors would then be coaxed into taking actions that will expose their personal details or devices. These websites then harvest personal information and use them for various illegal purposes, or infect devices with malicious software intended for harm.

Scammers manipulate their victims to believe that their websites are reliable and valid. While some are deliberately designed to look exactly like those operated by companies or government agencies, others are designed in such a way that they create a great effect on the emotions of users thereby making them ignore their natural doubtful instincts.

READ: How scammers use SIM card, phone numbers to rob your bank accounts

How to identify scam websites

  • Emotional language: If the site intensifies your emotions, especially if you sense the feelings of urgency, fear, or optimism, you may need to explore it with care.
  • Absence of identifying Web Pages: A valid website will always have an “About-Us” page or a “Contact” page. If these are missing, it is safest for you to exit the website.
  • Odd grammar: A scammer is never very careful, so you may want to look out for grammatical errors, wrong spellings, or wrong use of plural and singular words.

READ: How fraudsters fleece elderly Nigerians of their bank deposits

How to avoid scam websites

  • Always use a secured internet connection. When visiting a website that demands personal details or financial data, the company’s name should come after the URL along with a locked padlock that signifies that the website is secured. If this is not available or your browser warns you that the site doesn’t have an up-to-date security certificate, It could mean that it’s a scam website.
  • Another sign of a secured site is when the “HTTP” URL in your browser comes with an “S”. The “S” signifies that the site is a secured one. So if you have just “HTTP” it’s a sign that you should be careful as all secured websites come with ” HTTPS.”
  • Do an internet search. If you have doubts about a website, it’s good to do an internet search on it just to have a piece of background information. From what others say about it, you will be able to decipher if it’s a scam website or not.
  • Check the domain name. Most scam websites in a bid to model what the official websites do usually take domain names that look or sound similar to the legitimate ones. Addresses ending with “.net or .org” should be given maximum attention as these kinds of domain names are less common for online shopping sites. If you want to be extra certain, you can check who registered the domain name on Whois.net.
  • Don’t make payment by bank transfer. if you are convinced that the site is legit, protect yourself more by making payment via debit card. This is to protect you in future should any issue arise. If you purchase something that is fake or non-existent, you have the right to ask for a refund if you paid with a card. But with bank transfer, there is little or nothing that can be done.

Janet John is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Uyo. She specializes in technical writing where she creates easy to read documentation, articles to clearly and efficiently explain highly complex processes. When she is not writing, she works as a freelance front-end developer

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    Economy & Politics

    Top States in Nigeria with highest IGR per population in 2020

    Nairametrics ranks the 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, based on their IGR per population.

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    Nigeria’s states generated a sum of N1.31 trillion internally in 2020, representing a marginal decline compared to N1.33 trillion recorded in 2019, and an increase compared to N1.17 trillion in 2018.  

    The downturn is attributable to reduced state revenue as a result of disruptions caused by the covid-induced lockdown, while the crash in crude oil prices also hampered economic growth. 

    Internally generated revenue is regarded as income generated by various states in the country, independent of their share of revenue from the Federation account. However, apart from the clear exception of Lagos State, all others depend largely on statutory allocations to run their state affairs. 

    Nairametrics ranks the 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, based on their IGR per population, taking into account the estimated population size of each state as at 2016 and 5% growth rate between 2016 and 2020.  

    Geo-political zones 

    In terms of IGR per population for the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, South West takes the lead with an average of N13,966, having generated a sum of N561.01 billion and an estimated population of 40.17 million people. The South-South region followed with an average of N8,694 and a total aggregate IGR of N263.17 billion.  

    On the flip side, the North-Eastern region, which houses states like Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, etc. recorded the lowest IGR per population of N2,061 closely followed by North West with an average of N2,855. 

    Here are the top 5 states with the highest IGR per population in 2020. 

    Lagos State – N31,794 

    Lagos State, regarded as the economic hub of the nation, with a total estimated population of 13.18 million people as of 2020generated a sum of N418.99 billion as IGR in 2020. This represents an increase of 5.1% compared to N398.73 billion recorded in 2019. 

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    • In terms of IGR per capita, Lagos State generated an average of N31,794 from each member of the population in 2020, as against N30,257 generated in the previous year. 
    • It is no surprise that Lagos State tops the rank, being a major epicentre for economic activities in the country. Lagos State is the largest city in Africa in terms of GDP, and the State is widely known for its large industries, with most corporations in the country headquartered within the state. 
    • It also houses major seaports in the country as well as the State Government’s aggressive taxation policies. These, amongst others, ensure the state makes more revenue internally compared to other states of the Federation. 
    • According to data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos State received a total of N115.93 billion as Federal allocation in the year 2020, representing 21.67% of the total revenue available to the state in the year. 
    • This shows the exceptional ability of the state to run its affairs, using its internally generated revenue with little or no support from the Federal purse. 

    Abuja – N24,600 

    The Federal Capital Territory generated a sum of N92.06 billion in 2020, the third-highest state IGR in the year. However, based on IGR per population Abuja seats in second position with an average of N24,600. 

    • This represents a 23.5% increase when compared to N19,925 recorded in 2019. 
    • Abuja is the capital territory of Nigeria, with a total estimated population of 3.74 million people across a 7,315km square area. 
    • The state houses a lot of Federal ministries, having been made the country’s capital in 1991. Abuja is also a major conference centre in the country, as it hosts various meetings and summits annually. 
    • A cursory look at the data showed that the state’s IGR only accounted for 57.85% of the total available revenue, indicating that 42.15% of its revenue was gotten from the Federation account. 

    Rivers State – N15,281 

    Rivers State, being a major oil-producing state in the country, generated a sum of N117.19 billion as internally generated revenue in 2020. 

    • However, with an estimated population of 7.7 million people, its IGR per population stood at N15,281 in 2020, representing a decline of 16.5% when compared to N18,307 recorded in 2019. 
    • Rivers State is in the Niger Delta region of the country with much of the businesses in the state being oil exploration companies. 
    • Evident from the data obtained from the NBS, Rivers State relies heavily on statutory allocations from the Federal Government as well as their share of the 13% oil derivatives as it received a total of N141.19 billion from FAAC, representing 54.64% of the total available revenue in the review period. 

    Delta State – N10,045 

    Delta state, another state in the Niger Delta region of the country, with an estimated population of 5.9 million, generated a sum of N59.73 billion as IGR, and an average of N10,045 as IGR per population. 

    • Delta State is a major oil-producing state and ranks second to Rivers State. The State supplies about 35% of Nigeria’s crude oil and some considerable amount of natural gas.
    • Delta State in the period received a sum of N186.83 billion as statutory allocation in 2020, thereby taking a huge part (75.8%) of the total revenue available to the state.
    • Its IGR only accounted for 24.2% of the available revenue in the period, while N46.11 billion was generated as PAYE. 

    Ogun State – N9,263 

    Ogun State, a neighbouring State of Lagos State, generated a sum of N50.75 billion. In terms of IGR per population, the State generated a sum of N9,263. 

    • The State’s average income per population decreased by 28.4% compared to N12,945 recorded in 2019. 
    •  The State is strategically located, bordered to the East by Ondo State, to the North by Oyo and Osun States, to the South by Lagos State and the Atlantic Ocean, and to the West by the Republic of Benin. 
    • Ogun State also joins the list of states that are much dependent on FAAC allocations as statutory payments stood at N37.7 billion, representing 42.61% of the total revenue. 

    Bottom five 

    Katsina – N1,386 

    Jigawa – N1,416 

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    Benue – N1,736 

    Niger – N1,804 

    Bauchi – N1,821 

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    Coronavirus

    Covid-19: FCT to end vaccination May 14

    The FCT Primary Health Care Board (FPHCB) announced it would end the first round of Covid-19 vaccination on the 14th of May.

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    The FCT Primary Health Care Board (FPHCB) announced it would end the first round of Covid-19 vaccination on the 14th of May.

    This was disclosed by Mrs Salome Tor, Programme Officer, FPHCB in a meeting with newsmen on Friday.

    She disclosed that the FCT received 248,400 doses of vaccine and has successfully vaccinated  96,559 as of May 6, 2021, thanks to a team of 169 health workers.

    “We have a minimum of three health workers in each team, they have all been distributed into the six area council. All the government hospitals in the FCT are selected locations for this vaccination.

    “We also have temporary fixed post team; these are special teams who visit various organisations or special location. We urge people to go and vaccinate before the exercise closes,” she said.

    The FPHCB added that Nigerians still need to get vaccinated and urged for the media’s participation in spreading awareness of the vaccination drive.

    “We need at least seven out of 10 people to be vaccinated to be able to withstand the SARS 2 virus of COVID-19. I consider that as a deliberate hazard that will become hazardous to the community, so we advise that people shouldn’t put themselves in that position, they should go ahead and take the vaccine.

    “We started this vaccination in FCT on March 15, the country at large started it on March 5, we have not seen anybody who complains of the vaccine in FCT, maybe blood clot or death.

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    “Why are people waiting, they should go ahead and take this vaccine in the health facility within the 62 wards of the FCT, the vaccine is safe,” the healthcare board said.

    What you should know

    The National Primary Health Care Development Agency announced that as of May 7, 2021, it had vaccinated 1,615,787 residents, which is 80.3% of its proportion.

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