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Coordinated get-rich-quick schemes target Facebook groups for fraud

Claim: Different Facebook accounts shared posts claiming that selected bank users can make N10,000 daily with their phones.

Verdict: FALSE. Though businesses that can fetch such income daily truly exist, these Facebook accounts lead to notorious schemes that DUBAWA had previously fact-checked. Also, the uniformity of their contents portrays coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB) traits.

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Financial aid excites many Nigerians as they battle with the tough economic conditions in the country. Thus, followers of prominent persons likely believe social media posts announcing giveaways.

One such post is that of Ned Nwoko, the senator representing Delta North at the National Assembly. 

“N100,000 to Nigerians… No BVN required… Full name, account number, phone number… Message the admin directly on WhatsApp at 09067076010,” the graphic reads.

Beneath the graphic was a collage of different banks existing in Nigeria.

A social media user shared the post with DUBAWA for verification.

“I honestly thought the senator was aware of the offer, maybe a giveaway to celebrate a movie. There’s nothing all these big people can’t do with their money, but the dull graphic made me curious,” the source said.

DUBAWA also discovered more alleged celebrity giveaway posts on Facebook. For instance, Bimbo Oshin, a popular Yoruba movie actress, appeared here with 267 reactions, 390 comments, and a reshare since it was posted on Feb. 2, 2024. 

Another post, where the nation’s First Lady, Remi Tinubu, was posing for the camera, had 72 reactions and 110 comments since it was posted on Feb. 2, 2024. Another popular actress and Mr Nwoko’s wife, Regina Daniels, got featured here with Sabinus, a popular comedian, apparently on a movie set. This post had 230 reactions, 210 comments, and three reshares. 

Also, a veteran music producer and radio entrepreneur, Yinka Ayefele, had his picture featured more in this scheme. We found nine different posts using one collage of him on his mobile wheelchair. This post had 268 reactions and 279 comments since it was posted on Feb. 2, 2024. Another post generated 352 reactions, 405 comments, and two reshares. Other posts by the music veteran found by DUBAWA can be seen here, here, here, here, here, and here.

While the means of contact on the post differs, we discovered common traits. The captions used in all the posts, which were more than 20 as of the time the story was filed, followed a particular format.

“GTB bank, OPAY bank, UBA bank, FIRST bank, PALMPAY bank, ACCESS bank, if you have any of the bank accounts, you can make 10k daily with your phone ask me HOW.” 

These posts are made on Facebook groups where many followers can be attracted to the scheme without verifying.

The information seems too good to be true, while the featured images in the posts were low-resolution. The oddity in the posts made us fact-check it.

Coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB)

Most comments on the posts were filled with Facebook users asking how they could enjoy the offer. Some simply dropped their account details in anticipation of a giveaway.  Those who asked got responses directing them to click on a WhatsApp link. We followed the process in some of the posts and discovered another similarity. The profile pictures of the WhatsApp links had different men wearing suits in offices. 

After our enquiries from four of the links, we received automated responses using the same fonts but with different companies. Some of these companies include Norland Investment, OctaFX Investment, and Opay Investment. These schemes are not new and have been fact-checked on many occasions like Norland on DUBAWA and Opay on Africa Check.

Screenshot showing the automated responses received after enquiries.

These are common traits of coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB), a deceptive strategy commonly employed on social media platforms, where groups of accounts collaborate in a synchronised manner to manipulate public opinion, disseminate misinformation, or sway political discourse. 

Meta’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, described it as “a group of people or pages who work together to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing.” 

We further analysed the posts using the Coordination Assessment Branch. Though we cannot verify the sources of the coordinated scheme, we discovered that the trend began around the last week of January. We found some posts within the period that were already deleted as of the time of filing this report. The posts currently accessible began trending from Feb. 1, 2024, up until Feb. 3, 2024. 

The timing was irregularly aligned, even though displaying similar intent: to cajole unsuspecting victims into falling prey to deception. Also, the caption had no change despite the difference in date, time, and audience. 

Conclusion


The posts intend to attract unsuspecting victims to invest in get-rich-quick schemes that have been previously fact-checked. Further, traits of coordinated inauthentic behaviours (CIB) were found in the report. While opportunities to earn the stated amount exist, our investigation revealed that the means indicated in the posts are false.

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