Information circulating across Whatsapp groups claims that a ‘crisis grant’ of N652,100 is available for individuals and families who need support during the covid-19 pandemic.
The promise of the covid-19 crisis grant of N652, 100 is a scam. The website is replete with red flags and it has no credible information on source.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a flood of misinformation and disinformation has invaded the media space. While many of the circulated information can be dismissed easily, others mask their claims deftly, making it difficult to easily define or ascertain their truth value. One of such masking claims circulating across Whatsapp groups on a covid-19, is a crisis grant of
N652,100, which is said to be available for individuals and families who need support during the pandemic. The post appeared in so many WhatsApp groups recently.
In the past, Dubawa has probed many of such offers which mostly turned out to be false. However, it appears that some authors of such kept on restrategizing on ways to gain attention and defraud people.
Screenshot of WhatsApp message
The website https://relief-funds.IlIl.bar requires that users click, then wait for a survey to pop up which users are asked to complete. A user is then asked to answer 3 questions and subsequently share the link to 20 friends or groups on WhatsApp before the funds can be withdrawn.
Also on the first click, the message directs users to answer questions in three categories; sex, age, and employment status.
After submission, it congratulates the user and asks that one share with 20 people on WhatsApp and click continue, with a promise that one would receive a confirmation by SMS in 15minutes.
The website also stated the funds would be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Preliminary findings led Dubawa to run an analysis of the site on ScamDoc( a reliable tool that checks the credibility of websites). The results rated the site at 5% which translates to a “very bad trust score,” signalling suspicion. ScamDoc further shows that the site was recently created and has a short life expectancy domain.
Furthermore, McAfee Webadvisor, a website that keeps users safe online by identifying and warning them about potentially risky sites and downloads, also identified the site to be risky to visit.
Screenshot of McAfee Webadvisor on the site.
The view site report on McAfee WebAdvisor scanned the site and found that it’s not as secure as it should be. “Please click with caution”, it advises.
Another red flag on the title bar, a logo of one of Nigeria’s popular online shopping sites, Jumia Nigeria, appears. This is a similar pattern used by fraudsters to deceive users to believe in the authenticity of sites.
Dubawa observes that users who logged into the website and decided to reverse to a previous page/site will be redirected to another website claiming to be a Google website but with a different URL. The website with the Google logo congratulates users for winning an Apple iPhone 11 Pro, and requires users to answer three questions before the gift can be redeemed.
FALSE. Dubawa’s probe of the website shows that covid-19 crisis grant of N652,100 is a scam. Aside from the fact that the website lacks credibility, from all indications, its source is unquestionably dubious.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with TODAY95.1FM, Port Harcourt to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.