A viral WhatsApp message claims that Aliko Dangote is giving out 15,000 Naira weekly allowance to Nigerian youths as COVID-19 relief fund.
The claim that Dangote is giving out 15,000 Naira weekly allowance to Nigerian youths as COVID-19 relief fund is a scam. Dangote Group confirmed it to be fake, and other inclinations point to that.
COVID-19 has distorted the conventional pattern of human existence; experts are calling it the new normal. This phase, however, ushered a barrage of misinformation regarding palliatives and would-be cures. An example is this viral WhatsApp message which claims that Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, is giving out 15,000 Naira as an allowance to youths across Africa. The post appeared in many WhatsApp groups with vast shares across the platform.
In the past, we have probed a myriad of similar claims which mostly turned out to be false. Nonetheless, for some of these falsehoods not to persist, it is necessary to provide evidence that debunk them.
Dubawa’s preliminary findings led to a public statement made by the Dangote Group on its official Facebook page. The statement outrightly repudiates the claim, describing it as a malicious act aimed at defrauding members of the public. The statement reads:
“SCAM ALERT – DANGOTE COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS!
We have been alerted of a scam purportedly sanctioned by Aliko Dangote Foundation and claiming to pay people a weekly allowance of N20,000. This malicious act aimed at defrauding unsuspecting victims is currently being perpetuated through several channels, including WhatsApp, emails, SMS, and dedicated website.
Please be aware that there is NO such initiative as the “Dangote Covid-19 Relief Funds.” Our support towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria is through the organised private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) in Nigeria; an initiative being led by our Group President/CE.
While we work towards shutting down the activities and accounts of these scammers, please be advised to contact law enforcement agencies in case you have made any contact with these scammers.
Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is not true!
Even more indicators
Another suspicion identified with the claim is the difference in the amount of money claimed by the post to be on offer. The message posed 15,000 Naira while the link presented 20,000 Naira. This clear contradiction should inflate scepticism.
Also, the site keeps shutting off and on in the space of time, as it requests unsuspecting members of the public to supply their details before accessing the said funds. This claim is reminiscent of a recent fact-check– in which we uncovered that these kinds of sites are data phishing websites that 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.
“Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is not true!”. This claim is false, and it’s pertinent for the public to remain even more vigilant about efforts by charlatans to defraud and mislead the public. Dangote is not giving 15,000 as COVID-19 relief funds to youths.