FaceAPP: Expert warns users against internet fraud

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Mr Nelson Idija, an information technology expert has admonished internet users to be careful before downloading the viral FaceAPP so as not to fall victims of internet fraud.

Idija, the founder of CenterHub, specialist in developing online security software, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

Speaking on the wake of the FaceApp which has gone viral among internet users, Idija cautioned that internet scammers were in the habit of taking advantage of periods where there is a worldwide download of a particular App to gain access to people’s data.

NAN reports that FaceApp is a mobile application developed by a Russian company, Wireless Lab which uses artificial intelligence to generate highly realistic transformations of faces in photographs.

The app can transform a face to make it smile, look younger, look older, or change gender and has been around since 2017 but recently gained popularity and went viral with millions of people downloading it.

“Just like every other downloaded APP that has gone viral, FaceApp application has attracted scammers who want to make some quick profits and also gain access to people’s data.

”Internet scammers have been using a fake professional (Pro) version of the application of the currently viral app on the Google play store.

“ Another type of scam includes the use of YouTube videos to generate download links for a (Pro) version. One of the fraudulent YouTube videos currently has over 150,000 views,’’ he said.

According to him, some of the YouTube videos contain download links that point to apps whose only function is to make users install various additional apps which will drain their data and also lead to links that could cause their device to malfunction.

The expert whose hub is based in the FCT urged internet users to install a reputable security app on their mobile devices to help prevent some negative consequences like hacking, internet fraud, data leakage etc.

He also urged internet users to avoid downloading apps from sources other than official app stores to avoid being victims of internet fraud.

He stressed that it was important for internet users to know vital information about the app they want to download, such as the developer, ratings and reviews from other users and number of downloads.  (NAN)

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