FACT-CHECK: Beware of Viral Link For Dangote Empowerment Grant

VERDICT: False

CLAIM:

On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a WhatsApp broadcast shared on various groups that the Aliko Dangote Foundation is disbursing grants to eligible Nigerians.

The claim reads: “2021 Dangote Empowerment, Hurry Now Check if You are Eligible to Receive a Cash Price As Part Of Dangote Empowerment Grant.”

Also attached to the message is a link for registration.

FACT:

Investigations by CDD show that the purported grant being circulated on WhatsApp is an online scam shared by some fraudsters.

A visit to the website through the link provided on the message reveals that every piece of information provided online is not authentic.

CDD also gathered that the picture attached to the link does not correspond to what can be obtained on the website – a new strategy adopted by online scammers to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.

Also, an analysis of the pictures attached using fact-checking tools reveal that the image used is that of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, giving out cash to some Nigerians.

CDD fact-checkers traced the image and found out that it was taken during a grant allocation initiative of the Federal Government during the disbursement of COVID-19 lockdown relief funds to residents of Kwali Area Council, Federal Capital Territory in April 2020.

Further checks on the website reveal that the website requested personal details of prospective applicants including their bank account numbers and name, Biometric Verification Number (BVN). This is a known method used by fraudsters to defraud the public especially youths.

However, something new and different from the other fraudulent messages usually shared on WhatsApp is that this particular broadcast offers terms and privacy of applicant’s details.

Checks to the official website of ADF and the organisation’s Twitter page proved otherwise. The only grant given as of the time of writing this report is the micro-grant for women and youth.

The foundation has so far disbursed the sum of 3.9 billion to eleven states and has just concluded plans to continue the money disbursement in other parts of the country.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of a message before taking further actions.

Conclusions:

The claim circulating on WhatsApp that the Aliko Dangote Foundation is giving grants to lucky Nigerians in 2021 is false. This is a method used by online fraudsters to collect data personal data from unsuspecting Nigerians and defraud them too.

CDD is urging the general public to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa