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Scam alert! Ignore messages offering airtime and data to Atiku supporters in Nigeria

A message posted on WhatsApp and Facebook claims a support group for one of the candidates running for president in Nigeria’s 2023 election is giving away airtime and internet data to his supporters.  

The poorly written post reads: “ATIKU FOR PRESIDENT 2023 SUPPORT GROUP IS GIVING OUT FREE 5K AIRTIME VOUCHER AND 10GB DATA As Appreciation To Atiku Supporters To Use And Campaign Online.”

Atiku Abubakar has been Nigeria’s vice president twice and is the presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party in 2023.

The post encourages Facebook users to “hurry” and “don’t be stingy” and lists URL links for different mobile networks, including MTN and Airtel, though all the links appear to direct to the same page.  

Is this a genuine offer? We checked.

Airtime_False

Phishing scam

The links in the post lead to a poorly designed web page set up with Google’s free Blogger service. Visitors are asked to give their phone numbers and cellphone network to receive the airtime and data. This looks like an attempt to steal personal information.

Users are also asked to forward the links to other WhatsApp groups. This is an example of engagement bait – a way to increase the reach of a message by asking users to comment and share. 

We could also not find anything like it on Abubakar’s verified Twitter and Facebook pages.

These are all signs that the offer is not genuine. Read our guide on how to spot online scams here.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

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Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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