A claim that MTN is rewarding its users with free airtime and data for reaching a milestone of 250 million subscribers across Africa has circulated online.
The claim read: “Are you using MTN? Check if you’re eligible to get MTN N10,000 AIRTIME AND 5GB DATA, celebrating 250 million subscribers in Africa. Click https://slnkz.com/Get-bonus”
The claim is circulating in multiple WhatsApp groups in Nigeria.
MTN is rewarding its users with free N10,000 airtime and 5GB data to celebrate reaching a milestone of 250 million subscribers in Africa.
Findings by this reporter show that the claim is FALSE, as the link directs users to a phishing website.
A click on the web link redirects you to another website: https://data.indigoe.online/m-mtn/#1700752674239, which displayed a random Facebook comment section allegedly showing people’s appreciation for receiving the free airtime and data. Thus, it makes the website look as genuine while baiting users to fill in their personal details.
After user input his/her phone numbers to claim the reward, it will ask you to forward the message to 12 groups on WhatsApp.
Here’s the message it displayed after entering your phone number below:
Congratulations, you are listed to receive MTN N10,000 AIRTIME AND 5GB DATA
How to earn your cash prize?
1. To get MTN N10,000 AIRTIME AND 5GB DATA First click the green button “WHATSAPP” and send this information to 12 groups on WhatsApp!
2. After sending the message, you will go to the next step where you will be able to get the MTN N10,000 AIRTIME AND 5GB DATA Immiediately to the provided MTN Number.
When the web link was subjected to further check on WHOIS, findings show that the phishing website was created in July 2023 and domiciled in the Arizona district of the United States.
According to a blog post on the corporate website of the MTN Group, the telecom giant says it has 292 million subscribers in Africa and Middle East as of end of June 2023; no precise figure was given for its subscribers in Africa only.
The MTN Group is a South African multinational telecommunications company that operates in more than 20 countries and is the leading mobile operator in Africa.
However, a check on MTN handles on major social media platforms especially Facebook and X revealed there’s no related reward promo being carried out or advertised by the telecom firm.
You can learn more about how to identify phishing scams and websites here.
The claim that MTN is giving out N10,000 in airtime and 5GB of data in celebration of its 250 million subscribers milestone is FALSE; as it is a phishing scam aimed at baiting users to reveal their personal details.
* This fact-check was written by Habeeb Daranijo, a fellow of the ICIR’s Countering Misinformation and Promoting Media Literacy project, supported by the German Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.