Claim: A viral WhatsApp message says Ecobank rewards its clients in the “National Government with an $8000 subsidy.”
Verdict: Hoax! Ecobank-Liberia says, “It is not running any subsidy reward scheme.”
Recently, a message has been circulating on WhatsApp saying that Ecobank is granting a subsidy worth $8000 to clients with the Ecobank National Government.
Participants of the scheme must provide their knowledge about the bank and answer a few questions about themselves to be considered a winner of the financial scheme.
DUBAWA checked the site to verify whether it was authentic or just a scam to dupe people of their money and/or their personal information.
When clicked, the link of the message takes users to a questionnaire page, where it is indicated that “through the questionnaire, you will have a chance to get $8000.”
Also, several commenters are seen giving testimonies of how they have been rewarded for partaking in the scheme.
DUBAWA decided to verify the claim by clicking on the page and answering the questions about the age range, bank rating, and gender.
Like several other scam sites, users are instructed to share the program with five WhatsApp groups or 20 WhatsApp friends to win an $8000 congratulatory prize that appears after answering the questions.
After sharing, a complete registration form appeared where users were informed that it was the final step to getting the prize within five to seven days. Interestingly, a completely different site popped up, where users were asked for their personal information, including a passcode and phone number.
This fact-checker scanned the site on scamdoc, a web tool that evaluates digital identities, and the analysis showed that the site has a very bad trust index and the owner of the site’s domain name is hidden.
Although analysis from scamdoc doesn’t influence the rating of a specific domain, this fact-checker, however, placed multiple calls to Ecobank-Liberia, requesting them to verify the claim being made on the site, after which they took to their official Facebook page to announce that “the bank is not running any subsidy reward scheme” and further cautioned people to “avoid clicking any link requiring personal or bank details.”
The message circulating on WhatsApp that EcoBank is providing an $8000 reward scheme is a hoax.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame KariKari Fellowship in partnership with The Stage Media – Liberia, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.