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Fraudulent website claims NIMC is conducting NIN registration online

4 mins read

Claim: A certain web-based message claims that the Federal Government has approved Individual NIN registration online to avoid the unnecessary crowd in NIMC centers.

The information circulating on WhatsApp that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is now carrying out registration online via a certain link is false. The website is found to be fraudulent and untrustworthy, mostly used to boost page views by redirecting users fraudulently.

Full text 

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) operates and regulates matters of national identity in Nigeria with services covering National Identification Number (NIN) enrolment and issuance, National e-ID card issuance, identity verification as well as data harmonization and authentication.  While NIN is The National Identification Number (NIN) is a set of numbers assigned to individuals in Nigeria to identify them as bonafide citizens. 

Since the government announced the compulsory linkage of NIN numbers to mobile SIM cards, NIN registration centers have been witnessing a massive turnout of people who are yet to register. It is perhaps because of this preponderant situation in NIMC registration centers that a certain web-based message claims that the Federal Government has approved Individual NIN registration online to avoid the unnecessary crowd in  NIMC centers. 

The web-based message in circulation

The web-based message provides a link for users to click and commence the registration process. After clicking the provided link, the user is redirected to a page that requests phone number, which subsequently, a new page is shown with three steps that demand completion before the acclaimed completion of the NIMC registration. These steps include: copying a provided link, sharing it on multiple WhatsApp groups for a  provided limit before proceeding to the registration proper. 

Previously, DUBAWA has carried analysis on  multiple claims that relate to NIMC, NIN registration which all turned out to be false. It is as a result of these realities that this link is subjected to scrutiny to confirm its reliability. 

Verification

DUBAWA first took notice of the apparent spelling blunder obvious in the web-based message that claims to offer  NIMC registration to Nigerians. ‘Government’ was wrongly spelled as ‘Gorvernment’ and ‘unnecessary’  was also misspelled as ‘unnecesary’.

Furthermore, an analysis of the website on ScamDoc (a web tool that evaluates “digital identities” reliability {email address or website} and provides answers to questions frequently asked by Internet users such as: How to check if a website is reliable or not? How to detect fraudulent emails?) reveals that the domain name is very recent (less than 6 months) with a short life expectancy that is linked to one or more countries known for being used by fraudulent websites similar to websites DUBAWA analysed in the past.

Results of the analysis from ScamDoc

Furthermore, the website was also discovered to be malvertizing (a word that blends malware and advertising,  to refer to techniques cybercriminals use to target people covertly) by demanding users to share the link to groups on WhatsApp. Malvertizing is carried out by buying ad space on trustworthy websites and, although the ads may appear legitimate (as the one under scrutiny), there is a malicious code hidden inside them that redirects users to fraudulent websites or installs malware on their computers or mobile devices that keeps bringing up notifications. In this case, the user is redirected to this website that talks about religious dogmas not in any way related to NIMC registration.

Screenshot of the website users are redirected to 

Even though DUBAWA has contacted NIMC several times and yet to register a response, the news regarding NIN registration conducted online would have been reported widely by the media. However, no reports indicate that the NIMC registration is now carried out online.

Conclusion 

The information circulating on WhatsApp that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is now carrying out NIN registration online via a certain link is false. The website is found to be fraudulent and untrustworthy and is mostly used to boost page views by redirecting users fraudulently.

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