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Dangote, not offering empowerment grants as claimed by fraudulent website

4 mins read

Claim: a certain web-based message, via a link it provided, claims that Dangote Foundation is offering cash prizes as empowerment grants to members of the public.

The claim that the Dangote Foundation is offering cash prizes as empowerment grants to members of the public via certain links is false. The group has confirmed that the information is a scam. 

Full Text 

Dangote Group is one of the leading providers of essential needs in Food and Shelter in Sub-Saharan Africa. The group is into cement Manufacturing, Sugar Milling, Sugar Refining, Port Operations, Packaging Material Production, and Salt Refining. While Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa is the founder and president/chief executive of the Dangote Group.

The Group currently has a presence in 17 African countries and runs a foundation. The Dangote Foundation is dedicated to adding value to people’s lives across Africa through facilitating health initiatives, education, and empowerment initiatives.

However, recently, a web-based message making rounds on WhatsApp claims that the Dangote Group, through its foundation is offering cash prizes as empowerment grants to members of the public via a link it offered. The message has been shared several times by WhatsApp users, especially on groups beckoning users to click and register. 

When clicked on, the user is welcomed with an opening statement that states: 

“The Dangote Foundation is dedicated to adding value to people’s lives across Africa by facilitating health, education, and empowerment initiatives, Proceed Now To Apply By Filling The Provided Form and Choose Your Preffered Payment Method, Your Account Will Be Credited As Soon As Possible.👇👇👇.”

The link also demands the user’s full name and phone number from a background photo that portrays supposed members of the Dangote foundation standing in front of the foundation’s insignia.  

First-page demanding user personal details

The same page offers the terms, policy statements, and a link for the user to ‘Apply’ for the said funds.

            Page showing the terms and policy of the acclaimed grants

After the user has clicked on the ‘apply’ link, a page is presented with the picture of the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, apparently handing out money to some persons with the heading “Federal Government support grants”. Furthermore, the page also requires the user to respond to certain queries; employment status, and reasons for seeking the grants. 

The outlined questions

Afterward, the user is redirected to a page that demands a user to share a link to a certain number of groups of WhatsApp before receiving the said grant.

Page requiring the user to share to other WhatsApp groups 

This is not the first time a viral claim such as this is attributed to Dangote. In July 2020, a viral WhatsApp message claimed that Aliko Dangote was giving out 15,000 Naira weekly allowance to Nigerian youths as COVID-19 relief fund. However, after some probing, DUBAWA confirmed the information to be a hoax.  Hence, it is because of this prior knowledge that this claim is also subjected to scrutiny, to confirm its validity. 

Verification 

DUBAWA first reached out to the Dangote Group over the validity of the website and the message it’s propagating. Hauwa Mohammed Bello, from the communications unit of the Dangote Group, confirmed that the information was false and that the website is a scam. She stated that “this is false and a scam, there is nothing as such.” 

Furthermore, the website in question turned out to be a malvertizing site, forcefully redirecting users to another site for betting.

The page users are forcefully redirected

Even more, the website kept swinging between the ‘Dangote foundation’ and the ‘federal government grant’. It implied that the grant was orchestrated by the Dangote Group (private sector) but kept showing ‘federal government grant’ on almost every page.

Page referencing the grant to Dangote Group (private sector)
Another page with the ‘federal government support grant’, showing a blatant contradiction with the initial page

Furthermore, an analysis of the website on ScamDoc (a web tool that evaluates reliability of “digital identities” {email address or website} and provides answers to questions frequently asked by Internet users such as: How to check if a website is reliable or not and how to detect fraudulent emails) reveals that the domain name is very recent (less than 6 months) with a link is to one or more countries known for being used by fraudulent websites similar to websites DUBAWA had analyzed in the past.

Results from Scamdoc

Conclusion 

Fake websites are built to pursue their ruse and fraudulent intentions.  The website in question aims to maladvertize to illegally generate traffic to another site, further the Dangote Foundation has confirmed that the organization is not offering any such grants at the moment. This claim is false. 

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