On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a WhatsApp broadcast claiming that the Federal Government is disbursing N10,500 as a weekly grant to Nigerians.
The broadcast titled “covid19 second wave support fund program” claimed that applying for the grant only takes a few minutes.
The message read: “Dont miss this Federal Government N10,500 weekly grant. It takes few seconds to apply. Dont miss this great opportunity”.
Also attached to the broadcast is a link that can be used by interested applicants. A click on the link shows that the grants is allegedly sponsored by the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID). It also showed ratings from “previous successful applicants” referred to as testifiers.
Investigations carried out by the CDD revealed that the claim is false. Checks by CDD show that the link provided was created by fraudsters to scam their victims.
The link which provided a three-step registration process for interested applicants also provided an analysis of the number of those who have applied for the grant so far.
Investigations carried out using technology-based tools showed the picture is old and was taken during the disbursement of COVID-19 lockdown relief funds to residents of Kwali Area Council, Federal Capital Territory in April 2020.
A rating and comment section for earlier applicants who were referred to as testifiers showcased how it works – a method CDD has discovered fraudsters use to lure unsuspecting Nigerians.
Moreover, checks proved that, as claimed by the link, it is not affiliated or provided by the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID).
A check on the social media platforms and website of CA-COVID also proved that the grant was not initiated by the coalition.
The claim that the Federal Government is disbursing N10,500 weekly to Nigerians is false. This is a scam pattern used by internet fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
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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