CLAIM: A viral WhatsApp message link claims the WHO is giving out 500 Euros support.
FALSE. The claim that the WHO is giving out 500 Euros as support fund is false as analysis of the link shows the website is a new website and has no link with the WHO. The WHO has also distanced itself from the link in a statement.
A link going viral on WhatsApp with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) logo claims that the WHO is giving out 500 Euros support.
Dubawa opened the link to see what the website holds and followed the instructions. The link, once opened, has a congratulatory message on top which reads, “congratulations you have been selected to benefit from the support provided by the World Health Organization for 500 Euros”
After this message comes another instruction that requires one to answer three questions before one can benefit. The first question seeks to know your business type with three options; official, worker, and unemployment. Any option you pick leads to the second question which seeks to know your marital status with three options; single, married, and divorced. Similarly, whatever option you pick leads to the third question which seeks to know your age group; 18-30, 30-40 and 40-70.
This shows this site is a phishing website seeking details of people.
Below these questions on the site are comments by users who claimed to have either received the support fund or gotten the code.
After answering all three questions, your answers are reviewed and a pop-up message tells you how much your subsidy amount has been set at and requires you to complete the steps by sharing to five groups or persons on WhatsApp after which you can now click get withdrawal code. The request to share to WhatsApp is also a characteristic of phishing sites.
Going through the websites and following the instructions, Dubawa noted several red flags. First red flag was the link address which did not contain the organisation’s name like its official website and other WHO related sites do. Also Dubawa checked the website on duplichecker, and found the website is less than a month old as it was created on December 28, 2020.
Another red flag is the grammatical errors found on the website from the congratulatory message, to the question on the business type which had unemployment as an option instead of unemployed, to the question on relationship status that gives the option divorce instead of divorced.
Dubawa also reached out to the WHO for answers. The organisation released a statement on Monday January 4, 2021, distancing itself from the link.
“A link claiming that the World Health Organization (WHO) is offering 500 EUR ($US 615) in benefits to people who answer three questions is a scam.
This fraudulent scheme asks for personal information on individuals and despite using the WHO logo is not in any way associated with the organization.”
Excerpt of the WHO statement.
The WHO warned the public to be wary of such deception and not send money or personal information to anyone or any site claiming to be awarding funds, jobs, grants, scholarships, or other benefits on the behalf of WHO.
The organisation also provided a link where the public can report scams.
The claim that the WHO is giving out 500 Euros is False. Dubawa’s check and analysis of the site show this and this was supported by a statement from the WHO organisation.