Last Updated on February 11, 2021 by Ope Quadri
A new National Identity Number Application to link your SIM cards, NIN Linker App, has appeared on Google Play store. Unfortunately, it’s FAKE!
It does similar tasks as the app launched by the National Identity Management Commission or NIMC a few days ago.
But the commission warned the public to beware of a fake app that claims to help link NIN to their SIM cards.
In a tweet, NIMC dissociated itself from the app saying it is run by fraudsters who could use it to harvest people’s NIN and Bank Verification Number (BVN).
What’s unique about NIN Linker App?
At the time of this report, NIN Linker App which is the fake app has generated more than 10,000 downloads.
A few users who had linked their NIN to their SIM cards using the app say it was a great app. How the developer behind the fake app would be able to submit the details to NIN is unknown.
“The app was not created by NIMC or the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is run by fraudsters who are currently harvesting people’s NINs and BVNs by default.”
NIMC advised Nigerians to protect their data and stop disclosing personal information to unauthorised persons or platforms.
In one of our reports, we told you how to link up to seven SIM cards to one NIN using the the nimc mobile app.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, who spoke on the effectiveness of the new app told Channels Television that, “That app, as long as you have your NIMC number, you will only download it without visiting any office. “
Who is to blame?
Sadly, the so called fake NIN linker app beats the original NIMC app in the following critical areas:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Choice of Name
- Customer support
- Application size
- Positive reviews
The developer of “NIN Linker: Link SIM to NIN Nigeria” is definitely an SEO expert who knows the exact keyword Nigerians might be searching for.
He went for the words and it’s right now beating the original app, “MWS: NIMC MobileID” on the app store.
Right on the app store, the page of NIMC mobileID is flooded with complaints, no response from NIMC, the developer of the app.
While the other one tagged as fake is swiftly responding to the complaints of users, making it a preferred choice by unsuspecting members of the public.
NIN linker is 2.4mb while NIMC mobileID is 28mb. Technically, the size of an app doesn’t mean it would be effective to do what it’s designed to deliver.
Sadly, the fake app is generating more positive reviews on the app page than the origins one.
Sometimes, the developer of fake app pays people to drop positive reviews on its page so as to win hearts of others.
But, the negative reviews on the NIMC app page has also shown how bad the user experience is and why Isa Pantami and his team at NIMC, NCC need to do more.
One of the users of NIMC app Olic Olamide rated the app poor with 1star:
In all sincerity, reading about the app and it’s potential intentions, I would rate it 5 stars if those were met in the app, first step OTP verification is practically impossible, it arrives late over 12hrs from expected arrival. Can’t say more than this since I haven’t passed the OTP verification stage.
It’s a step in the right direction if the app is redesigned to function effectively in that regard, but for now, it’s a zero star from me, had no choice than to rate it
Olusegun Usman Quadri who claimed to be a developer also pointed out key areas the developer needs to improve:
Dear NIMC team, as a developer myself, I know that app development can be complicated at times.
But the app shouldn’t have been released in a hurry when key functions aren’t working.
The UI is good, but the app is not sending OTP on time. When it eventually sends OTP, the expiry time would have passed. I know you have good intentions. Please work on that as soon as possible.
The negative reviews do not mean some people are not finding it useful. For instance, Osaigbovo Bright who said he had bad user experience initially said there are now improvements.
This application at first was not responsive due to numerous errors I encountered during NIN retrieval, however, I tried after 3 days and everything worked perfectly well.
Application is so fast during information retrieval, app GUI is very user friendly and precise. I had to re-edit my ealier review here so as to inform others to give it another try. Nice work
Nigerians deserve better.
Download the original app which is MWS: NIMC MobileID.
NOTE: NIN Linker App is fake and the details you submitted on the fake app may be used against you.