A file circulating on WhatsApp named “Argentina is Doing it” is fake news, says the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The agency says it is the work of “nefarious actions of cyber criminals exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to mislead and defraud unsuspecting victims, cause panic and induce terror.

Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of the agency gave the warning on behalf of the agency, in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.

“Furthermore, in order to lend credibility to the message, the senders falsely claim that the Cable News Network (CNN) also reported it,” said Hadiza Umar, the agency’s head of corporate affairs and external relations.

According to the agency, the message exhibits traces of misleading information, which includes instructions to forward the message and claims of some kind of affiliation with a credible source or organisation.

It also said that the message aimed at inducing panic or shock on the recipient, and making impossible claims or serious consequences about the effect of the virus.

“The messages contain alarming languages tending to emphasise the urgent nature of the threat.

“The general public is therefore urged to disregard this as there is no CNN article regarding this hoax; the message is a variant of a similar message in circulation since 2017,” NITDA said.

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