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No! TETFUND not offering Nigerian students N20,000 grant

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Claim: A website claims that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) is offering Nigerian students N20,000 grant. This is being sent to unsuspecting students as a bulk SMS with the name Tetfund2021.

Findings show that the information being circulated as an SMS to Nigerian students to apply for the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) N20,000 bursary is false. The website is fraudulent.

Full story

Some Nigerian students on May 27, 2021, got an SMS on their mobile phones from Tetfund2021, informing them of their eligibility for the ongoing TETFUND 20,000 grant.

The SMS reads: “Congratulations, You’re eligible to benefit from the ongoing TETFUND N20,000 Grant. You can accept the grant by clicking http://bit.ly/TETFUND-GRANTS today.”

After clicking the provided link, the user is redirected to https://tet.fund-2021.claimfund.xyz/grantx, a page that requests the user’s information, announcing:

“TETFund 20,000 bursary for Nigeria students 2021 has commenced.”

                     

“2 millions Nigerian students are entitled to N20,000.”

“Please complete your registration and then go to the next step.”

 To complete the registration, the user will provide full name, residential address, phone number, name of university, and matric number.

Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) is a scheme established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2011 to disburse, manage, and monitor education tax funds to government-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

It was charged with the responsibility for imposing, managing, and disbursing the tax to public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Verification 

When Dubawa accessed the website, the page had a similar TETFUND logo. The website asked this reporter to complete the registration by providing some vital information.

Dubawa provided a wrong name, address, matric number, and name of university in order to access the other pages of the form.

The second page reads; “CONGRATULATIONS! Please to complete the following questions

“1. Are you a bonafide citizen of Nigeria?

“2. Where do you study?

“3. What will you use your ₦20,000?”

This reporter was thereafter congratulated for being eligible, a cloned Facebook post which shows beneficiaries of the N20,000 grant testifying on how real the project is can also be seen.

The notification on the website reads: “Congratulations, you are eligible for the ₦20,000 TETFUND GRANT.

“How to get your ₦20,000 credited to your account

“1. Before you continue, click the green button “SHARE” and send this to 7 Whatsapp Groups (Only Groups) for other members to benefit from this.

“2. After the sharing, you will be asked for account number and bank name to receive the ₦20,000.”

A further analysis using Domainbigdata, a web tool used to look for the website ownership information, showed that the website was created on May 24, 2021(less than one week) with the IP geolocation Los Angeles, United States.

Another tool, Dnslytics, added: “Domain claimfund.xyz is not listed in the top million list of Alexa. It is not listed in the DMOZ directory. This domain is hosted by Namecheap, Inc. (AS22612). The first DNS server is dns2.namecheaphosting.com. The current IPv4 address is 198.54.125.118. The mail server with the highest priority is mail.claimfund.xyz.”

Dubawa, thereafter, checked the official website of TETFUND, www.tetfund.gov.ng, and the organisation’s social media handles to see if it posted anything on the bursary, but found nothing.

Dubawa also sent an email to the agency’s official email address but is still awaiting a response.

Further checks on TETFUND’s official Instagram account showed the claim has been debunked.

It said: “Attention Attention! A fraudulent broadcast has been circulating on various online/offline platforms. The message suggests that TETFUND is giving grants to Nigerian Students. This message is false and an attempt to extort students.

“The general public should kindly disregard this message.”

But this post generated only ten likes.

Conclusion

Findings show that the information being circulated as an SMS to Nigerian students to apply for the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) N20,000 bursary is false. The website is fraudulent.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with The Nigerian Tribune to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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