Fact Check

Again, scammers pose as Tinubu to defraud online users

Claim: A web-based message circulating on WhatsApp claims that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is granting Nigerians an assistive grant of 25,000 Naira.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, or any of his organizations, is not offering ₦25,000 grant to Nigerians. The heralding message is a fraudulent method used by scammers to entice and extort money from unwary members of the public. Thus, this claim is false. 

Full Text

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a prominent Nigerian politician and current National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was a two-term governor of Lagos State whose influence in the Nigerian political sphere makes him a popular subject of discourse.

Mr Tinubu, who recently declared his intention to run for president in the upcoming 2023 elections, has been making appearances on diverse media platforms reiterating his intentions for the presidency. It is in the light of this context that a certain web-based message is making the rounds on WhatsApp, alleging that Mr Tinubu, through the ‘Tinubu Support Organization 2022,’ is granting Nigerians an assistive grant of N25,000.

In 2021, DUBAWA fact-checked a similar claim that Mr. Tinubu was offering N19, 800 grants to Nigerians. After our extensive research on the claim, we were able to deduce that the 19,800 support grant is a hoax.  Another link has been developed with a ‘newly-improved’ N25,000 grant to Nigerians. With the 2023 presidential election in sight, it becomes pertinent to recheck this claim and inform Nigerians. 

The acclaimed Bola Tinubu Organisation Support Fund information shared on a WhatsApp group

The link provided in the web-based message has the image of Tinubu on its landing page and an alleged emblem and insignia of the Bola Tinubu Support Organization, a non-governmental organization (NGO), that was founded on September 20th, 2019 by some individuals.

DUBAWA finds fact-checking this claim crucial ahead of the 2023 presidential election for which Tinubu has openly declared his candidacy. 

Verification

Such juicy grant offers are usually newsworthy events. As such,  DUBAWA carried out a keyword search on the internet regarding the grants. Findings  showed that no NGO is offering such grants to Nigerians. Even so, there are no official statements or media reports from the presidential aspirant to confirm the validity of the claim. 

Inherent red flags

Interestingly, an analysis of the link on Domainbigdata, a web service used to verify domain’s ownership, reveals multiple users have reported the website for abuses, attacks, and implanting malicious viruses on multiple occasions.

Analysis of the website carried out on Domainbigdata

Another outright red flag was the presence of dummy testimonial remarks. This is a common tactic employed by internet con artists to entice potential victims into their cave. The supposed links to the comments are not clickable, but still serve as a forged dummy, only designed to mislead users. 

Screenshot of the website showing the comments of supposed beneficiaries

DUBAWA also noticed that the link is a ‘Bitly URL.’ Bitly URL is a link shortening and management application that was founded in 2008. Bitly shortens over 600 million links per month for social media, text messaging, and email. The goal of its establishment was to make it easier for entrepreneurs to post their links on social media, attract clients, and sell their products or services. However,  charlatans are increasingly using Bitly URL to spread false information and drive traffic to their malicious websites.

The acclaimed link is a Bitly URL

Apparently, the WhatsApp user who shared the information to a WhatsApp group shared the information based on the instructions embedded on the website. See the image below.

Scammers frequently use bogus juicy offers to entice web consumers into visiting a malicious site 

Furthermore, the supposed website requires visitors to exchange further information with other users before being able to access the grant, as seen in the screenshot above. This is a common scam method employed by con artists to get people to visit their websites.

The real website of Bola Tinubu Support Organization

Also known as BTSO, Bola Tinubu Support Organization does exist. It is a group established by a few individuals: Comrade Abubakar Kuso became the National Coordinator, Princess Sade Olamide (Director Admin.,) Mallam Musa (Director Finance), Alhaji Ibrahim Gazama (National Youth leader) etc.

Notably, the real website of the Bola Tinubu Support Organization does not offer “grants” of N25,000 to Nigerians. The website also has a real domain, which further authenticates the maliciousness of the acclaimed link.

The sponsor card of Bola Tinubu carries the links to the politician’s supposed social pages

The links of Bola Tinubu on the website appear to take the visitors to another site entirely. 

As it appears, Tinubu is not offering grants to Nigerians, and the website is a hoax, based on the findings of the investigation.

Conclusion

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, or any of his organizations, is not offering ₦25,000 as a grant to Nigerians. Online scammers use this strategy to entice and extort money from unwary members of the public.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button