A link to a website with the tag: “FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 25,000 NAIRA CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFER” is circulating widely in closed WhatsApp groups in Nigeria.
The message is being shared across different social media platforms and groups in the country recently.
“The President of Nigeria Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved 25,000 Naira conditional cash transfer to all Nigerian Households. “Check now if you are eligible to receive 25,000 Naira Federal Government Conditional Cash Transfer”, the post reads.
Interested candidates are invited to answer a few questions by providing personal details and amount needed.
The post is circulating following the announcement by the Nigerian government on October 1, 2023 that it will give all federal workers and pensioners a grant of N25,000 each as palliatives to cushion the hardship Nigerians are facing as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy earlier in June 2023.
The Federal Government (FG) is giving each Nigerian N25,000 under its Conditional Cash Transfer programme.
Findings by this writer revealed that the claim is FALSE.
A close look at the page after clicking the web link show that the website was created for phishing purposes to gather applicants’ details and possibly as a click-bait.
After entering your personal information on the application form and clicking “Proceed”, the website directs you to share the post with five WhatsApp groups or fifteen WhatsApp users in order to be taken to the payment portal, stating further that you will receive an email confirmation within 24 hours.
A thorough examination of the website reveals doctored comments allegedly from Facebook users that praise the government for allocating the funds and choosing them as recipients, along with the commenters’ corresponding image and stagnant likes. This is one of the features of a typical phishing website.
This writer observed that this is an click-bait scam often deployed by phishing scammers where users are encouraged to engage by leaving comments or sharing same message(s) with their contacts. The post’s reach increases the more people engage with it and circulate it.
Similarly, it was observed that the domain name was redirecting from the initial lnkbitz.com to petpings.com; this is typical of several phishing websites that The FactCheckHub has debunked over time as seen here, here and here.
Speaking with this writer, Halima Shehu, the national coordinator and chief executive officer of the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP), stated that all payments made through the CCT initiative will be made directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
She added that there’s no need for anyone to fill any online form as the agency already have records of prospective beneficiaries.
Be cautious online…
In a chat with this writer, Afeez Babatunde, a tech expert and Managing Director of HiQTek, said that phishing scams are easy ways to defraud people because of the rewards sometimes attached to such illegal activities.
He advised any individual who receives phishing messages or links to take the necessary precautionary measures as follows:
- Whether it be over the phone or online, never respond to an unwanted request for your personal information. Phishing emails and websites may be made to seem just like the real thing. They could even feature a false version of the padlock icon, which is often used to indicate a secured website. You shouldn’t provide any information and shouldn’t start the conversation.
- Get in touch with the banking institution directly if you think the communication could be real. On the monthly statements you receive from your financial institution, you can discover phone numbers and websites. You can also look up the business in a phone book or on the internet. The important thing is that you should contact your bank first.
- Never give your password to a caller or in response to an unauthorised online request. No financial institution would ask you to confirm your account details online. If you give out your bank account and ATM pin or passwords, thieves or scammers may easily access your funds with that knowledge.
- Check your bank account statements regularly to make sure all charges are legitimate. Call your banking institution to ask why if your account statement is delayed. If your bank institution allows for electronic account access, keep an eye out for any unusual behaviour by routinely reviewing your online banking activities.
The claim that the FG is giving each Nigerian N25,000 under its Conditional Cash Transfer programme currently is FALSE; findings show that the programme is yet to take off, as the web link in the claim is that of a phishing scam.