The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has warned citizens, especially youths, to beware of fraudsters when using dating apps.

The Director of the National Cybercrime Centre, Uche Henry, issued the warning during an event on checking cyber-facilitated sexual and gender-based violence, to mark 16 days of activism, on Monday, November 27,  in Abuja.

He said the police have been receiving a lot of reports about victims of cybercrime, hence the call for people to be more careful.

He added that the police have put in place some strategies to help in the fight against cybercrime and sextortion.

Henry said, “We started having lots of victims from Nigeria coming to report about being victims of cybercrime and sextortion. So, we channelled our attention on how to curb this menace, which we are actually doing a lot and recorded a lot of successes.

“The police had put in place strategies and measures to help in the fight against the menace and many arrests had been made while culprits were facing prosecution.

“When you are visiting dating apps one needs to be very careful because some of them pretend to be ladies and girls and when they gain your confidence, they start extorting, asking for your nude pictures.

“Once the scammers start to preach love and sense of urgency, within one, two weeks demand for money is like a red flag.”

Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of SGAI, Mufuliat Fijabi, said the event was meant to educate youths on issues of CFSGBV.

Fijabi said, “Before now, there have been a lot of concerns about Sexual and Gender-Based Violence but not so much attention has been given to those acts of SGBV committed within cyberspace.

“We want a situation where more youths, more parents, stakeholders, and people tap into the need to continue to advocate against the occurrence of this kind of violence in cyberspace. The violence sometimes leads to mental issues, withdrawal, and career, among others.”