Whatsapp

  • Babu “Killer Sweet” ko Kuma Alawa mai Kissa Kamar Yadda Wani Sakon WhatsApp Ke Zargi

    Zargi: Wani sakon da ke yawo a Whatsapp na jan kunnen jama’a dangane da wata alawa da ake kyautata zaton ya na  dauke da guban da ke hallaka jama’a

    Kusan kowane yaro na sha’awar alawa. Sai dai an sami sabon bayanin da ke kara firgita jama’a dangane da irin illolin da alwar za ta iya yi wa kananan yara.

    A wani gajeren bidiyon da ke yawo a manhajan Whatsapp, an ga wani mutun wanda ba’a bayyana ko shi wane ne ba, yana gargadin cewa iyaye mata su hana yaransu sayen alawa.

    Yayin da ya ke bayanin da yarbanci, mutumin ya ce wata sabuwar alawa mai suna “killer sweet” ta bayyana. Ya yi zargin cewa alawar ta na kashe mutane kuma ta na janyo ciwon ciki wa wadansa ‘yan makaranta wadanda aka gan su suna kuka a wani dakin maganin da aka nuna a bidiyon.

    Wannan sakon lallai ya tayar da hankalin iyaye abin da ya sanya suka rika tura sakon sau da yawa zuwa ga ‘yn uwa da abokan arziki domin kare rayukan jama’a. Duk da cewa bidiyon mutumin bai bulla a sauran kafofin sadarwa banda WhatsApp ba, Kafofin sadarwa da dama wadanda suka hada da taskokin blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter da Instagram, sun yi amfani da bangaren bidiyon da ya nuna hoton daliban da ake zargi suna fama da ciwon ciki.

    Sai dai ashe duk wadanda suka yi amfani da hoton yaran sun yi bayanai mabanbanta ne dangane da abin da ke faruwa. Wadansu na gagadin cewa alawar ta kasha yara, a yayin da wadansu kuma ke cewa yaran sun ci guba a dalilin alawar. Duk da cewa ana wa batun kallon magana ce kawai ta fatar bakim DUBAWA na ganin cewa wannan babban dalili ne na fayyace gaskiyar lamairin.

    Tantancewa

    Rahotanni daban-daban daga kafofin yada labarai masu nagarta sun bayana cewa akwai alawar da ta janyo ciwon ciki a dalubai 46 a jihar KwaZulu-Natal a Afirka ta Kudu ranar 31 ga watan janairu. To sai dai sunan alawar ba “killer Sweet” ba ne kamar yadda mai bidiyon nan ya bayyana. Sunan alawar “XPOP ENERGY RED DRAGON,” wanda kamfanin Richester Foods ke sarrafawa.

    Bayan da aka danganta ciwon cikin daluban da kamfanin Richester Foods, babban darektan kamfanin Hussein Cassim a wani rahoton da aka sanya a tashar News24 ya ce kamfanin tana daukan matakan da suka dace wajen shawo kan matsalar, kuma ta kaddamar da bincike can matsalar.

    To Amma da gaske ne wai dalibai 46 sun yi ciwon ciki?

    A wata sanarwar manema labarai da ta wallafa, sashen kula da lafiya na jihar Kwa-Zulu Natal ta tabbatar cewa daya daga cikin asibitocin da ke karkashinta a gundumar Ilembe ta duba kananan yara 46 daga makaratar firamaren gwamnatin yankin, bayan da suka yi kukan ciwon ciki, amma kai tsaye ta yi watsi da labarin cewa yaran sun mutu.

    Sashen Lafiyar ya ce “ ba mu riga mun kai ga gano dalilin da ya sa yaran suka kamu da irin wanann ciwon ba amma likitoci sun duba yaran sun basu magunguna sun koma gida a ranar babu wanda ya kwana a asibiti.”

    Sakamakon da kamfanin sarrafa abinci na Richester Food ya samu dangane da batu

    Bayan da kamfanin ya gudanar da bincike a cikin gida, ya wallafa matakan da ya dauka a shafins hi na Facebook, inda ya jaddada cewa alawar kamfanin na XPOP Energy ba shi ne ya yi sanadiyyar ciwon cikin wadannan yaran ba.

    “Tun shekarar 2017 mu ke saida alawar XPOP Energy kuma ba mu taba samun matsala ba ko korafi a tsawon shekaru biyar din da mu ke sarrafawa al’umma na saye,” kamfanin ya rubuta.

    Wanda ya yi wannan zargi ya yi amfani da bidiyon wadannan yaran ne wadanda kawo yanzu ba’a tabbatar cewa alawar XPOP ce ta janyo mu su ciwon cikin ba.

    A Karshe

    Duk da cewa dalibai 46 sun je asibiti da ciwon ciki a jihar KwaZulu Natal ba wata kwkwarar hujjar da ta danganta ciwon cikin na su da alawar XPOP Energy Red Dragon. Banda haka, alawar ta dade a kasuwa ba sabuwa ba ce tun 2017 aka fara saida ta.

    Sashen kula da lafiya na KwaZulu Natal ta bayar da tabbacin cewa babu dalibin da ya hallaka.

  • Explaining the WhatsApp expiration rumors: The truth and the lies

    WhatsApp is a big part of the communication ecosystem in Sierra Leone, despite the low internet penetration rate in the country. According to DataReportal, an online platform that produces data on global internet usage, internet penetration in Sierra Leone stands at 29.7%.

    In recent days, some messages were sent to users’ phones with the claim that Facebook will stop supporting WhatsApp on 53 types of mobile devices from November 1, 2021.  

    Some users have even misinterpreted this message, suggesting that WhatsApp is about to be shut down. But, that’s not the case; WhatsApp is not shutting down and secondly, not all the 53 types of phones that were listed on the WhatsApp message will be affected.

    These messages have been backed up with audio, claiming that users who don’t share the audio would now be billed for using WhatsApp, among a number of other claims.

    All these messages are coming with increased frequency, on the backdrop of the sudden six-hour shutdown of Facebook and its associated apps last week–Whatsapp and Instagram.

    And perhaps it is necessary to understand why millions of people are so gullible about this latest hoax.

     In the social media space in Sierra Leone, there has been some panic and as a result people are migrating to apps like Telegram. But WhatsApp has explained how people can upgrade their phones or transfer their chats from one device to another, (if you decide to change your phone). 

     Here is an entire page detailing the process on its website.

    On Android operating systems, Google was the first to pull the plug when it announced in 2018 that it will no longer support Android devices that run on 4.0 systems, so users will have a difficult time finding compatible apps for their devices.

    It is important to note that Google is the owner of Android, they acquired the company in 2005.

    What is an Operating System?

    Mobile phones have evolved, they are not just used for calling and texting, phones also have different purposes, from setting a reminder to predicting the weather pattern for the day to indicating the physical location of callers.  For modern mobile phones to be that functional, they use a software that runs the phone, from managing its resources to processing its memory, which allows the user to be able to perform multiple functions on them.

     An Example of Operating System (OS) is Apple iOS.

    Smartphone users can know which OS their phone is using by going under the Setting function.

    The truth about WhatsApp usage on some phones

     WhatsApp had announced early this year that the app won’t be supported on Android phones that run on O.S 4.0 or older models and it won’t run on iPhones that run on I.O.S 9 or older versions, taking the cue from Google.

     In a statement on its website, WhatsApp stated: “We provide support for and recommend using the following devices: Android running OS 4.1 and newer, iPhone running iOS 10 and newer, KaiOS 2.5.0 and newer, including JioPhone and JioPhone 2. Once you have one of these devices, install WhatsApp and register your phone number. WhatsApp can only be activated with one phone number on one device at a time.”

    From WhatsApp’s statement, it is clear that the actual iPhones that will be affected are those that range from Iphone4. With the launch of IOS 8 in 2014 iPhone 4 and older models of the Apple designed smartphones could no longer be supported.

    So, claims that iPhone 6, iPhone 6S plus, iPhone SE are among the list of phones that will be affected is not entirely true.  All three phones have I.O.S 10 system upgrade option available and you can use WhatsApp on it once you upgrade. Some other phones that can run on the same system include Iphone5, Iphone5C, Iphone5S. 

    WhatsApp on Samsung

    The following Samsung phones were listed in the message making rounds on social media with the claim that WhatsApp won’t be supported on these devices:

    Galaxy Trend Lite, Galaxy Trend II, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy XCover 2, Galaxy Core, Galaxy Ace.

    According to Samsung’s official website and GSM Arena, of all the phones listed, only Galaxy SII and Galaxy Ace fall under the category of phones that won’t be supported by WhatsApp.  The operating system of Galaxy S II is 2.3.4 and its 2.3 for Galaxy Ace.

    This further diminishes the “53 phones” claims.

    A further digging into all the devices listed on that WhatsApp message could further take a number of other phones off the list.

    However, despite the growing number of phones that may have been erroneously included on that list, what is certain is that millions of people could lose access to the popular messaging app, if they don’t upgrade or change their smartphones.

    There is a streak of vulnerability among social media users that those who generate fake messages prey on. WhatsApp has over 2 billion users in 180 countries across the world, so there is a huge population out there who are targets.

  • False! WhatsApp is not ending ‘tomorrow’ as claimed in this viral audio

    Claim: A message on WhatsApp claims that the messaging app is ending tomorrow at 6p.m., although the date of the ‘tomorrow’ in the announcement was not stated. The message claims that users must pay to reopen the app. The message has also been circulating in audio format.

    Dubawa’s findings revealed that the claim is false and that the message has been recirculating since 2012. A visit to WhatsApp website reveals a denial of this claim and advises users to disregard, delete, and block the messages that have already been identified as a hoax. 

    Full Text

    A WhatsApp message claiming that the platform is ending ‘tomorrow by 6p.m.,’ has gone virile on various social media platforms.

    The message claims that WhatsApp servers have been congested and need the help of users to solve the problem of decongestion while urging active users to forward the message to all their contacts. A threat that if users fail to forward  the message, users will be charged, and the account will remain inactive with consequences of losing their contacts. The claim states that the message is also from Jim Balsamic, the CEO of WhatsApp.

    Screenshot of claim

    The voice warned that the message is the last warning from WhatsApp and should be forwarded as soon as possible to generate a green icon that will allow users to use WhatsApp and Facebook.

    The voice claims the message is from Varun Pulyani, the director of WhatsApp claiming the App has been sold to Mark Zuckerberg for 19 billion dollars. It says the message should be forwarded to twenty (20) contacts to change the icon to that of WhatsApp and Facebook within twenty-four hours. It then states again that a forward of the message to ten people will not allow users to be deactivated from the platform. 

    It further claims that the use of WhatsApp will cost money from summer 2017. The audio message claims forwarding the message to 20 people will also give users a free use of the app; otherwise, it will be paid for to be used.

    Verification

     Dubawa started by first analysing the content of the message and from the first sentence that states that “Tomorrow at 6pm they are ending whatsapp and you have to pay to open it, this is by law,”. Dubawa notes the vagueness of the sentence that provides time without the date of the day in question.  

    To use WhatsApp , you must have data which is already paid for as you go, so, users are paying to use WhatsApp. And on a 3rd note, ”This is by law” is also vague because it did not state which law. According to an IT expert in Ilorin, Engineer Ibrahim Mojeed, “If it is true that the WhatsApp server is congested, it does not need to forward messages to decongest its server.”

    A google search on Jim Balsamic page showed that he has also gone ahead to deny the message which he described as spam on the 19th of march 2020. 

    This indicates that it is really a scam message resurfacing every year. WhatsApp on its website WhatsApp Web confirmed on its blog that a similar message was also spammed in January 2021.This spam has attracted various online media platforms over the years who have done various fact checks as the message resurfaces, beginning from16th January 2012 when it first emerged. 

    For example, chef.com.news in July 17, 2013 carried a report of a spam by WhatsApp CEO and it was a hoax message alert emanating from blackberry messaging service, BB.

    Dubawa discovered that since 2012 when the spam message first broke, that of October 2021 is the 7th time the claim is resurfacing with many Facebook and WhatsApp users falling for the spam. The same disclaimer from WhatsApp website was also recirculated to debunk the claim. 

    Conclusion

    Findings show that the viral WhatsApp messages note claiming that WhatsApp is ending ‘tomorrow’ is a spam. A visit to WhatsApp website and Jim Balsamic’s page revealed the claim is a hoax that has been recirculating since 2012.

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

  • Viral voice note on WhatsApp billing false

    Claim: A viral WhatsApp voice note, purportedly made by the director and CEO of WhatsApp, claims users will have to start paying for WhatsApp services.

    The viral WhatsApp voice note claim is a hoax. The content is not new and has been circulated as a broadcast message several times in the past. 

    Full Text

    On Monday, October 11, 2021, a WhatsApp voice note, purportedly made by the director of WhatsApp, Varun Pulyani, and the CEO of WhatsApp, Jim Balsamic, started circulating. In the voice note, a robotic voice could be heard asking users to forward the audio to 20 contacts and that failure to do so would result in paying for WhatsApp services.

    The audio is making the rounds a few days after Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger suffered outages that made their services inaccessible  for about six hours.

    According to the audio which has been forwarded many times, WhatsApp is now being controlled by Mark Zuckerberg; hence, users need to forward the message to at least 20 contacts and their WhatsApp logo will change to a new icon with facebook’s “f” within 24 hours.

    The voice said: “This message is to inform all of our users, our servers have recently been very congested, so we are asking you to help us solve this problem. We require our active users to forward this message to each of the people in your contact list to confirm our active users using WhatsApp, if you do not send this message to all your contacts WhatsApp will then start to charge you. Your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts.”

    It further said: “Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp ) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing.”

    Verification

    Dubawa started by conducting a keyword search and found that the information is not new and has been circulated several times as a WhatsApp message but not as a voice note.

    Further checks also revealed that Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 from Jan Koum and Brian Acton who are the founders of WhatsApp, not by Varun Pulyani or Jim Balsamic.

    Also, there has been no changes in the WhatsApp logo since it joined Facebook in 2014.

    In January 2012, WhatsApp addressed the claim: “Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Whatsapp team.”

    The company added : “It is a hoax. Really, it is. Please understand that this is a hoax and there is no truth to it.”

    Conclusion

    The viral WhatsApp voice note claim is a hoax. The content is not new and  has been circulated as a message before. Also, WhatsApp only disburses information through its official blog or social media handles.

    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.

  • No! Zuckerberg did not post message on Facebook, WhatsApp, others ‘seven days’ shutdown

    Claim : Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to shut down again for 7 days – Mark Zuckerberg

    Viral post on WhatsApp claiming that messaging apps, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger,  will be shut down for seven (7) days to upgrade its servers  is FALSE

    Full Text

    When Facebook’s server shut down worldwide for about six hours on Monday October 4, 2021, many businesses suffered along with it. 

    The platform which also operates Instagram and WhatsApp has been playing key roles in commerce in recent times, with many Small and Medium Enterprises companies all over the world relying on Facebook’s network instead of their own websites.

    Facebook in an update later said the network that came crashing down wasn’t a hack, but rather a self-inflicted problem.

    An update to Facebook’s routers that coordinate network traffic went wrong, which sent a wave of disruptions rippling through its systems and as a result, all things connected to Facebook were effectively shut down, worldwide.

    According to Facebook, “Configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers, blocking their ability to communicate and setting off a cascade of network failures.”

    The problem was made worse because the outage also disrupted Facebook’s own internal systems and tools that it relies on for daily operations, thus making its solution more elusive, as workers were reportedly faced with difficulty in reaching the space where the routers are located.

    After the social media pages were back online, different messages started flying around among which is the claim that the founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has posted on his page that Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to shut down again for 7 days beginning from October 6, 2021by 13:00 hrs.

    Screenshot of the Facebook post
    Screenshot of post on WhatsApp

    Verifications

    Dubawa  began its verification by using who posted what application used to conduct a search of posts on Facebook by its CEO in the last 24 hours. The search returned a post of Mark sharing a post which he said he wrote to everyone working at Facebook.

    Screenshot of Mark Zuckerberg Facebook page
    Screenshot of the page

    Further search on Mark’s Facebook page revealed that his last post before that was on October 5, 2021 congratulating the scientists at the Biohub on all their breakthroughs starting five years ago.

    The next post to it was the post on October 4, the day the company’s server went down. According to him “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,”his post reads.

    Screenshot of Mark Zuckerberg verified Facebook page
    Screenshot of Mark‘s page

    Conclusion

    Given the evidence available and resources on the internet, it was evident that the purported Facebook page of Mark Zuckerberg was cloned and he did not post the said message, even at 22:00 hrs on October 6, 2021 Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were still working, which made the claim to be untrue.

    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.

  • Beware! FoodCo not offering anniversary cash to customers

    Claim: A link shared many times on many WhatsApp groups claims that as part of its 40th anniversary, FoodCo Nigeria is offering cash rewards up to 30,000 to its customers. 

    The company does not have any programme offering any such rewards. The claim is a bait by scammers to fleece members of the public. 

    Full Text

    A link, which surfaced recently,  has a claim that FoodCo Nigeria, a consumer goods retail chain, is giving people up to 30,000 in cash purportedly to celebrate its 40th anniversary. 

    Screenshot of the fake site

    The link has been shared multiple times on WhatsApp, asking members of the public to visit the website to fill out a survey and share to at least five (WhatsApp) groups and 20 friends as a condition to receiving the thirty thousand naira cash. 

    The condition to share before reward

    Verification 

    This researcher visited the website of the company, FoodCo to ascertain the veracity of the promotion. The twitter account FoodCo Nigeria showed no indication or information regarding any offer of cash to customers or members of the public. 

    A check on the company’s Facebook Page did not yield any post to that effect. In fact, on Thursday, 9 September 2021, the company put out a caveat about the promotion, stating that it is fake.

    FoodCo responds on Facebook

    An Inquiry sent to WhatsApp number +2349065050081 as seen on FoodCo Nigeria website also elicited a related message. It stated that the link and its content should be ignored. 

    This researcher reached out to the company through an email address [email protected] available  on its website. 

    A repondent named Adenike replied to an enquiry sent to the mail address [email protected] The message reads in part: 

    “Our attention has been drawn to the website purportedly offering cash 

    rewards for FoodCo’s 40th Anniversary, please disregard as it is a scam. 

    Please be informed that FoodCo Nigeria Limited is not organizing such 

    promo at this time.

    We do not promote such fraudulent activities.”

    Conclusion 

    FoodCo Nigeria has disclaimed the promotion link  about offering customers cash. Therefore, it is a fake website. It is a trap set for unsuspecting members of the public by scammers.

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

  • Website asking Nigerians to apply for Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme fraudulent

    Claim: A WhatsApp message is directing Nigerians to apply for Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) recruitment with N80,500 monthly stipend via a website.

    The information circulating on WhatsApp urging Nigerians to apply for the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) via a certain link is false. The legitimate link to apply for the programme is https://www.njfp.ng/apply.

    Full Story

    A WhatsApp post claims the Federal Government recently opened a portal for the recruitment exercise of Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) with a monthly stipend of N80,500.

    The post reads: “FG Opens Portal for Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) Recruitment (N80,500 monthly stipends). Apply Now

    “Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Portal; Are you a young talented Nigerian? Do you have an interest in enhancing your youthful employability, building leadership competencies, and transferring on-the-job skills? If yes, then worry no more because we have good news for you.

    “Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme is a one-year (12months) youth empowerment Programme. It is a partnership initiative between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).*

    *Hurry Now Apply and Check if You are Eligible to Receive (80,500 monthly stipends).*

    “_This Grant Is Available To All Cityzens_Please, share widely to other WhatsApp groups to help others apply. 

    “_Apply Here_https://tinyurl.com/Apply-FG-Jubilee-Programme.”

    A screenshot of the WhatsApp post

    Verification

    Dubawa first noticed the message is riddled with grammatical errors and irregular capitalisation of words.

    After clicking the link, the website was redirected to https://www.nigerian-jubilee-get-funds.online/?m=0#1631478308277. The landing page has a welcome message which says “NIGERIAN JUBILEE Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) is a youth empowerment partnership initiative between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Rising unemployment and the COVID-19 pandemic are all impacting the ability of young Nigerians to find work..

    Applicants will receive a monthly stipend which will be covered by the NJFP for the first year.

    (80,000 monthly stipends). Apply Now By Filling The Form Below👇👇.”

    The page requested applicants to provide personal details such as names, phone number, address and email address.

    Dubawa provided wrong information in order to access other pages of the website.

    A screenshot of the landing page of the website

    The second page reads: “Congratulations You are a step closer to geting listed as one of the beneficiary of Nigerian Jubilee Fellows Programme. Answer the following three questions to benefit immediately!

    1. What is Your Employment Status?

    2. What is your marital status?

    3. Why Do You Want This Grant?”

    A screenshot of the second page

    This reporter was thereafter asked to share the information with 15 friends or five groups in order to obtain the withdrawal code for the N80,500 stipend. Also, the page has a cloned Facebook comment interface that shows testimonials of beneficiaries.

    A screenshot of the page asking users to share information

    Further analysis using Domingdata, a web tool used to verify the authenticity of a website, revealed that the website has  IP geolocation of United States, California, Emeryville with several abuse reports.

    A screenshot showing the domingdata analysis

    What is the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme

    The Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) is a youth empowerment partnership initiative between the Federal Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

    The project was flagged off on August 31, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari with the aim of helping 20,000 graduates annually with post-COVID-19 job search.

    The programme aims to equip Nigerian graduates with practical knowledge and relevant skills for a 12-month period, with or without job experience, thereby connecting them with local job opportunities.

    The sectors include information and communications technology, financial services, trade, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing, mining, telecommunications, creative industries and technology, education, health, research and development. The programme will create three options for applicants upon completion of the fellowship, including retainship with respective host organisations, entrepreneurship opportunities, and a platform to compete and access future jobs and employment opportunities.

    How to apply for the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme

    Further checks by Dubawa show that the official website of the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) is https://www.njfp.ng/ as opposed to the one in the WhatsApp message. Applications are open from 6 September 2021 to 20 October 2021.

    To be eligible, applicants must;

    • Be a Nigerian citizen.
    • Be a fresh graduate (Bachelor’s Degree) from any discipline — not earlier than 2017.
    • Graduate with at least a Second Class Lower (2.2) and above.
    • Be at most 30 years old.
    • Not currently engaged in any employment.
    • Have completed the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) OR have a certificate of exemption from the NYSC.
    • Demonstrate interest/commitment in chosen career field.
    • Demonstrate interest/commitment to contributing to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
    • Have excellent time management and a professional attitude.
    • Have good verbal and written communication skills.

    Interested applicants can begin the application process via this link, https://www.njfp.ng/apply.

    Dubawa has conducted several fact checks on misleading websites riding on the back of legitimate projects with the aim of deceiving people. One claimed MTN was giving out N20,000 cash, 5GB worth of data and cars to celebrate its 20th anniversary in Nigeria while another claimed the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) was recruiting to fill vacant positions in some ministries and department agencies.

    Conclusion

    The information circulating on WhatsApp urging Nigerians to apply for the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP) via a certain link is false. The legitimate link to apply for the programme is https://www.njfp.ng/apply.

    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.

  • False! Sokoto State University not recruiting as claimed in viral message

    Claim: A call for massive recruitment at Sokoto State University 

    Viral post making the rounds on WhatsApp seeking interested and qualified candidates for recruitment into Sokoto State University is FALSE. 

    Full Text 

    A call for massive recruitment at the Sokoto State University has recently been going round on social media especially the WhatsApp platform, with a directive to share widely for qualified Nigerians to take advantage of the job openings. 

    The message stated that the university wishes to engage suitably qualified scholars and academics to fill numerous academic and non-academic positions, which includes: Senior Lecturer, Professor, Graduate Assistant, Lecturer 1, Lecturer II Reader, Counseling Psychologist, Higher Pharmacy Technician, Medical Officer, Graduate Nursing Officer, Principal Library Officer amongst others, with October 18, 2021 deadline.

    Screenshot of the WhatsApp message about Sokoto State University 

    Sokoto State is one of the 36 States of Nigeria, located in the extreme northwest of the country on the national border with the Republic of Niger. Arising from the insatiable quest of the people of the state for education and excellence, the idea of establishing the Sokoto State University was conceived by the then Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko when he established the Sokoto State University Implementation Committee in 2008. 

    The committee was charged with the responsibility of: Planning for the structure and facilities for the effective running of the university, seeking for and obtaining approval from the Federal Government for Sokoto state to run its own university aside, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, which is Federal Government owned and in which the indigenes of the state were marginally placed over the years arising from the Federal Character Principle; and establishing the Sokoto State University School of Developmental Studies with the sole aim of preparing students, a one-year pre-degree programme before enrolling into the University. The approval was granted in 2009. 

    Verification 

    Dubawa began its verification by visiting the website attached to the viral message.

    Screenshot of the call for application on the website 

    The site contains numerous calls for recruitments for academic and non- academic positions in different universities in Nigeria including that of the Sokoto State University. The website described itself as a job, vacancy, career opportunity blog, which shares daily updates on available vacancies, local and international scholarships, government and international organization loans and grants. 

    Talking about the advertised job, the site states that the salaries and conditions of service are as applicable to the post appointed for in Nigerian Universities as approved by Sokoto State Government and the Governing Council of the university from time to time. 

    It also urged interested and qualified candidates to submit their applications and up-to-date curriculum vitae to include contact mobile phone numbers and email addresses through the university’s email: [email protected] or by Courier to: The Registrar, Sokoto State University, P.M. 2134, Birnin Kebbi Road, Sokoto, Sokoto State.

    screenshot of application instruction 

    The website added a caveat that said it is not an agent of any organizations, and cannot assist any applicant to secure a job, loan, grant, or scholarship, as they only share the information for interested persons to apply. 

    Further search on the website of Sokoto State University revealed there was no opening for job offers but it contains a disclaimer dated August 18, 2021 and signed by the institution’s Registrar, Amins Yusuf Garba, to a false advertisement being circulated online, soliciting applications for a purported recruitment exercise. 

    The university in the disclaimer notified the general public that the university is not recruiting for any position, either directly or through any proxy, as it warned the general public to be cautious and vigilant to avoid falling victim to the plots of  unscrupulous elements who are circulating the false recruitment notices, to deceive unsuspecting applicants. 

    “In view of the above, the university is hereby advising the general public to always seek accurate and credible information by visiting its website @ www.ssu.edu.ng, its verified social media handles on Facebook, Twitter,

    Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube or by visiting the Institution,” the disclaimer added. 

    Screenshot of the disclaimer

    Conclusion 

    Given the evidence available, a call for massive recruitment for academic and non-academic positions at Sokoto State University is untrue as claimed. 

    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.

  • FALSE! University of Western Australia Not Offering ‘SCHOLARSHIP’ As Claimed in Viral Whatsapp Message

    Claim: A viral WhatsApp message claims Australian authorities are offering fully funded scholarships for international students at the University of Western Australia.

    The link in the WhatsApp message does not lead to the official website of the University of Western Australia but to one which requires users to provide some personal details and also to make some payments for visa. 

    Full Text

    A viral post on WhatsApp claims that the Australian Government is giving out fully funded scholarships to international students to study at the University of Western Australia.

    As usually done by many online fraudsters, the message moving across WhatsApp is a forward-as-received message that attempts to direct readers to a website with an URL that says it belongs to University of Western Australia.

    The content contained in the WhatsApp message reads: “AUSTRALIA SCHOLARSHIP 202I, STUDY IN University of Western Australia FULLY FUNDED SCHOLARSHIP FREE”.

    It says the scholarship will cover full tuition fees, accommodation, medical facilities, traveling, and stationary allowances of successful students. 

    The WhatsApp message ends with the instruction to apply via the link, https://bit.ly/Australia-scholarship-2021

    C:\Users\user\Pictures\Screenshots\Screenshot (17).png
    Screenshot of WhatsApp message 

    Verification 

    The URL in the WhatsApp message directs users to a page where they are asked to provide personal details like names, email, country of origin among others. 

    The next option allows them to apply and when that is clicked, another page displays “congratulations” in bold.

    Here, they are further sent to another page where they are requested to share the link with people on WhatsApp and are also requested to make payment for a visa in order to enter Australia for studies. 

    Dubawa also found out that the site has an addition of a ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ (SSL certificate) which enables it to carry https://bit.ly/ to convince users that it is credible.

    Does a SSL Certificate mean a website is safe to use? The answer is a definite no. 

    According to Web Titan, the HTTPS or a SSL certificate alone is not a guarantee that the website is secure and can be trusted.

    Many people believe that an SSL Certificate means a website is safe to use. Just because a website has a certificate or starts with HTTPS does not guarantee that it is 100% secure and free from malicious intent. It just means that the website is probably safe. In the vast majority of cases, the sites may be.

    A check of the website shows that the Uniform Resource Locator URL, which shows the address of a given resource on the worldwide web, does not have the .gov.au domain which is used by most Australian government websites. 

    It only has bit.ly/Australia-scholarship-2021 domain that raises suspicion.

    Further checks on the website domain shows that the “ly” is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Libya. 

    In 2011, the bit.ly address was set to redirect to bitly.com. The .ly top level domain, TLD is controlled by the Libyan government, which has previously removed one domain deemed incompatible with Muslim law, and not the Australian Government or the University of Western Australia.

    According to Macaria.com Network, to register a website in Australia, one will have to “enter the “.COM.AU” and/or “.NET.AU” domain name(s) assigned to the country and not bit.ly.

    Response from the University of Western Australia 

    The University of Western Australia official website is https://www.uwa.edu.au/home. It has no information about fully funded foreign scholarships as purported in the WhatsApp message.

    C:\Users\user\Desktop\nnn.jpg
     WhatsApp message website of Australian University (L) and Real Website (R)

    Furthermore, the Australian Government’s information for international scholarships are posted on this website. If you check carefully, you will observe that the web address contains .gov.au and Australian-education/scholarship as opposed to the one in the viral WhatsApp message.

    Conclusion

    Even though the website contains an SSL certificate, research and analysis of the site show it is not authentic. 

    Note: The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship in partnership with Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • Scam website offers Commonwealth scholarship

    Claim: A viral WhatsApp message is urging Nigerians to apply for the 2021 Commonwealth Scholarship to study for free in the UK

    Even though it is true the Commonwealth is offering fully funded scholarships, findings have revealed that the purported website open for registration is a click bait and the  message is misleading. 

    Full Text

    Nigeria is said to be the number one country of origin for international students from Africa. It sends the most students overseas of any country on the African continent, and outbound mobility numbers are growing at a rapid pace. 

    According to data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), the number of Nigerian students abroad increased by 164 percent in the decade between 2005 and 2015 alone– from 26,997 to 71,351, At least 40 percent of Nigerian overseas students are said to rely on scholarships.

    Recently, a viral  message  on WhatsApp asking Nigerians to apply for the commonwealth fully funded scholarships that “will cover full tuition, living expenses, accommodation, medical facilities, travelling allowance, stationery allowance and unlimited work permit,” caught attention. The message ended with the provision of a bit.ly link for applicants to apply.

    “*APPLY FOR UNITED KINGDOM SCHOLARSHIP 2021, FULLY FUNDED SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY FOR FREE IN Uk.*

    *It takes a few seconds to apply. Dont miss this opportunity.*

    *Benfits of COMMONWEALTH 2021 scholarship Program.*

    *The scholarship will cover.*

    -Full Tuition Fee

    -Living Allowance

    -Acoomodation

    -Medical Facilities

    -Traveling Allowance

    -Unlimited Work Permit.

    *APPLY HERE*

    bit.ly/UK-FreeScholarships”

    Screenshot of WhatsApp message

    Verification

    It was first noticed that the message contained several grammatical errors and irregular capitalisation of words.

    Dubawa clicked on the bit.ly link and it directed this reporter to a new website with a welcome message that reads “Study in United Kingdom With Course of Your Choice For Free through-out The years program.The CommonWealth Scholarship Program Enables International Students to Study in United Kingdom Comfortably and Free. Applicants are to fill the form bellow and click on Apply

    👇👇👇”

    The form requested applicants to fill in their full names, course, email address, country and whether this was their first application. 

    Dubawa filled in fake information, and this writer was led to another website. The new website congratulates the applicant, notifying them that their applications have been received, then it went further to request answers  to three questions quickly; 

    1. Current Level Of Study

    2. Age Range

    3. State of Interest

    After answering the questions, a message popped up immediately, that the application “has been approved for free” and that the applicant should fill the visa application form below.

    Screenshot of the approval information

    Applicants are then requested to share the link with their friends and groups. 

    Dubawa noticed irregular pop-ups while filling the application form,  in addition to excessive ads.

    Screenshot of pop-ups

    Further analysis using Domainbigdata, a web tool used to verify the authenticity of a website,  showed that the website has  IP geolocation of United States, California, Sun City and it has been reported several times for abuses, fraud, and attacks.

    Screenshot of Domainbigdata result

    But what is a commonwealth scholarship?

    It is an agency-nominated master’s programme, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for candidates from eligible lower and upper middle income Commonwealth countries, to undertake full-time taught Master’s study at a UK university.

    These scholarships are offered under six development themes:

    • Science and technology for development
    • Strengthening health systems and capacity
    • Promoting global prosperity
    • Strengthening global peace, security and governance
    • Strengthening resilience and response to crises
    • Access, inclusion and opportunity

    Dubawa discovered that the commonwealth website looks different from the so-called scholarship website.

    Screenshot of commonwealth website

    How to apply for commonwealth scholarship

    Applicants must make their application through the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s  (CSC) online application system, in addition to any other application that they are required to complete by their nominating body. The CSC does not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.

    So first off, applicants must apply to one of the following nominating bodies in the first instance – the CSC does not accept direct applications for these scholarships.

    So each nominating body is responsible for its own selection process and may have additional eligibility criteria. 

    Applicants must check with their nominating body for their specific advice and rules for applying, their own eligibility criteria, and their own closing date for application.

    • Supporting documentation: Applicants must submit a list of supporting documents to ensure that their application is eligible. So applicants must have:
    • Proof that they are citizens or have refugee status of an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of a valid passport (or national ID card) showing their photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship uploaded to the online application system
    • Full transcripts detailing all their higher education qualifications including to-date transcripts for any qualifications they are currently studying (with certified translations if not in English) – uploaded to the online application system
    • References from at least two individuals – submitted directly by the referees to the online application system (referees will be sent an email request to submit online)

    Dubawa also observed that the Minimum qualification for the Scholarship is that applicants must be under 40 years of age as of September 1st of the current year, and applicants must hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree as of August 31st of the current year for applying for Master’s degree or Doctoral degree respectively.

    Dubawa also saw that the scholarship covers fees, approved fares, and personal maintenance. Other scholarships, awards, or bursaries that cover the same costs may not be held concurrently.

    Conclusion

    Though it is true that the Commonwealth is offering fully funded scholarships, verification has revealed that the so-called website open for registration is a click bait and the  message is misleading.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with JAY 101.9 FM Jos to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country

Back to top button