Beware! Scam website circulates in wake of FG’s plan to distribute fuel subsidy removal palliativeBy Fatimah Quadri on April 17, 2023
A claim that the Nigerian government has started distributing fuel subsidy removal palliative to fifty million Nigerians has been circulating on WhatsApp.
The claim was contained in a broadcast message sent to various contacts in a WhatsApp group.
The message asked individuals to check if they are eligible to receive fuel subsidy palliative from the federal government.
The WhatsApp broadcast read:
Welcome to Fuel Subsidy Removal Palliative.
Check now if you are among the 50 Million Nigerians to receive Fuel Subsidy Palliative from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The federal government is distributing fuel subsidy removal palliative to Nigerians.
Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE as of Sunday, April 16, 2023.
Earlier in April 2023, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, said the federal government has borrowed $800 million from the World Bank to use as palliative ahead of the total removal of petrol subsidy in June 2023, Daily Trust had reported.
According to her, the fund will be disbursed to the 10 million households (equivalent to about 50 million Nigerians) considered to be most vulnerable already captured by the National Social Register (NSR) to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
Following that announcement, many phishing websites and online scams have surfaced, alleging that the palliative distribution by the Nigerian government has started.
Findings by the FactCheckHub revealed that no credible media platform published any report on the commencement of the distribution of the fuel subsidy removal palliative as of Sunday, April 16, 2023.
However, a careful look at the website link shows that the domain name is a phishing website, used by scammers to collect personal details of online users.
Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other forms of communication.
Whenever users click the web link stated in the WhatsApp broadcast, it neither direct them to the official web page of the State House or National Social Register
Rather, it asks them to fill in their personal details like name and bank details. Thereafter, users are asked to share to groups and their phone contacts till a ‘green bar is full.’ This is a typical modus operandi of most phishing websites and online scams.
To avoid falling victim to click baits by scammers, learn how to identify phishing scams and websites here.
You can also read our tutorial on how you can easily verify viral WhatsApp messages here.
The claim that the federal government is distributing fuel subsidy removal palliative to Nigerians is FALSE; findings revealed that it is a phishing website.