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eNaira Scam Alert: CBN not disbursing digital currency to citizens

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Claim: A viral WhatsApp message claims that the CBN, through the directives of the  Minister of Finance, is disbursing 50 million eNaira currency to citizens who are willing to register for the eNaira wallet.

It is not true that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through the directives of the Finance Minister, is disbursing 50 Billion eNaira currency to citizens who are willing to register and get the eNaira wallet. The scheme has been confirmed by both NITDA and CBN as a scam. 

Full text:

The Claim

A WhatsApp message claims that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under the directive of the Minister of Finance, is disbursing 50 million eNaira currency to citizens who are willing to register for the e-naira wallet. This is coming after the launch of the digital currency, e-naira by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

What is eNaira?

The eNaira is a digital representative of the paper Naira currency issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria. It will also  be a complementary legal tender in Nigeria, having the same exchange value as the Naira and maintaining a parity of value as the Naira. 

One interesting feature of the eNaira is that it will not earn any interest to the holder, and it is built on a blockchain open ledger technology. This simply implies that  you cannot have a duplicate of eNaira or a fake version of it because each note will be unique.

More about the claim

The message offered a link for users to register. Therein, users are asked to input some of their personal information like name, state, Bank account etc. and afterwards, they are also urged to share the link to a certain number of users before accessing the said amount. 

First-page asking user details

Further clicks showed a page with a congratulatory message and a number of testimonials from persons purported to have benefitted from the scheme. 

The congratulatory message 
Purported testimonials from some Facebook users

This is not the first time DUBAWA has analysed similar links promising money to the general public; all findings point to the fact that these links are either a phishing scam or a fraud. It is based on past experiences that DUBAWA opts to verify this information. 

Verification

Dubawa first carried out an analysis of the link on Scamdoc, a free online tool that verifies websites. Findings from the analysis revealed the link in question to be a data phishing website. Such websites are usually riddled with installed root pop-up ads that generate traffic through fraudulent schemes; worse still, they engage in the extraction of users’ data and financial details for nefarious purposes. 

Results of the analysis on Scamdoc

Furthermore, Dubawa visited the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria and all its social media handles to find out if there was such an offer. Results show no offer was made on either their website or their social media handles. 

In fact, the apex bank has already released a disclaimer that refuted the claim and clarified that the message did not emanate from the CBN. 

Dubawa also received an E-naira scam alert issued by the Nigeria Information Technology Agency NTIDA, Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and Cert. Org informing the citizens about the scam.

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A message NITDA/CBN refuting the claim

Conclusion:

Scammers have always capitalized on new inventions to defraud unsuspecting members of the public. Since the launch of the eNaira, scammers have been luring citizens with messages related to the online currency with the intention to woo unsuspecting Nigerians such as in this case.

As such, it is not true that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through the directives of the Finance Minister is disbursing 50 Billion e-naira currency to citizens who are willing to register and get the e-Naira wallet. It is a scam and the CBN has debunked the message.

The fact check was produced per 2021 Kwame Karikari fellowship in partnership with the National Orientation Agency to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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