Claim: WhatsApp message claims Tetfund is giving ₦30,000 grants to tertiary students
Although the website portrays the real logo of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), it is not in any way related to the agency; it is a phishing site to scam unsuspecting members of the company, which means the claim is false.
A viral message claiming a payment of ₦30,000 grants to Nigerian students is currently circulating on social media. The message is accompanied by a link to the registration website.
According to the message:
“TETFUND has approved the payment of N30,000
To all Students Across Nigeria
This is part of 2021 budget to support all Nigerian students
Registration Portal has been Opened and Payment has began
Note: Check if you’re eligible to get N30,000
Click below to visit the official disbursement site
Batch B payment has been completed. As Batch C payment and registration is ongoing now!
Dubawa began its verification by clicking the link attached to the message and the search leads to a website with the URL tetfund.claimoffer.online with the TETFUND logo and a form to fill.
The form consists of name, residential address, phone number, email address, date of birth, name of institution and matric number with a Yes or No button at the end just before the Apply now button.
However, without filling the form, the reporter clicked the ‘Apply Now’ button and it led to another page which asks questions like if the student is a Nigerian, the region the student is based, and what will the money be used for.
After answering the questions, it brought a congratulatory message and some Facebook comments of purported beneficiaries writing good reviews about the grant scheme.
The congratulatory message also asked the reporter to do the following things before getting credited;
“Congratulations, you are eligible for the ₦30,000 TETFUND GRANT.
How to get your ₦30,000 credited to your account
1. Before you continue, click the green button “SHARE” and send this to 5 WhatsApp Groups (Only Groups) for other members to benefit from this.
After sharing, an account number and bank name to receive the ₦30,000 was requested.
Further findings show that the website is not related to the MDA responsible for tertiary education in the country as it does not have its URL extension ending with gov.ng like all MDAs of the Nigerian government. The original website of TETFUND is tetfund.gov.ng as its original website address.
We further analysed the website using Whois, which is a query and response tool used for searching databases that store registered users and assignees of an internet resource such as domain name, IP address block and a wide range of other information.
Whois.domaintools.com employed showed that the website’s main domain was claimoffer.net registered August 25, 2021 with a website title “Jumia 9ja shopping festival promo.”
The current IP location is New Jersey, USA. The IP history shows that the IP address has been changed twice.
The main website was also visited and it contains a message saying, “Deceptive site ahead.Attackers on claimoffer.online may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards”).
Based on all information verification procedures by this fact-check including online search, social media check and website database profiling, all information gathered points to the fact that the viral message is a scam and a ploy to defraud unsuspecting students of tertiary institutions.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with Sobi 101.9 FM to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.