On Tuesday December 1, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted two different WhatsApp broadcast claiming that the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are distributing N650,000 and N250,000 as grant to citizens of the country.
The first message said FG had ordered the payment of N650,000 to Nigerians above 18-years-old. The message also directed interested applicants to do an eligibility test by visiting a page which its link is attached.
On the second message, all Nigerians were urged to apply for an FG approved CBN grant – at N250,000 for each applicant.
The message said the FG’s grant earmarked for youth empowerment is available to every Nigerian starting from December 1, 2020. A link was also made available for further information.
Investigations carried out by fact-checkers at the CDD shows that the WhatsApp message is fake and an online scam adopted by fraudsters to defraud people and have access to their personal details.
Further review of the links on the messages shows that upon registration, applicants are asked to provide their personal details and required to share the same message received on WhatsApp before he/she continues to the next stage.
Also, below the form provided there are comments from applicants claiming to have tried out the process – an obvious means of luring unsuspecting Nigerians with some words.
Also, upon registration for the FG/CBN grant, details such as name, reasons for grant request were asked and applicants during the registration process are asked to share the message on WhatsApp to either 15 more people or groups before proceeding to the final stage of registration.
A visit to the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) shows that the only grant available is the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sport Development in partnership with Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending (NISRAL) Microfinance Bank.
The messages on WhatsApp which claim that N250,000 and N650,000 have been earmarked for Nigerian youths as grants for empowerment is false. This is a method used by online fraudsters to scam people online.
CDD is urging Nigerians 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
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