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‘Huge’ IMF fund for Zimbabwe’s entrepreneurs? No, just another scam

The International Monetary Fund has “approved a huge fund” to be given directly to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Zimbabwe to “assist them survive the current hard economic times”. That’s the claim in a 25 July 2020 post on the Facebook page “Zimbabwe Ministry of Finance & Econ Dev”.

“I urge all interested entrepreneurs to visit the IMF website through the following link to apply online,” it adds.

Does this fund exist? We checked.

Link not to IMF website

The post’s link is suspicious, and isn’t for the IMF’s website. Instead, it’s a URL for a Google Form that has been deleted.

Africa Check looked at the form before it disappeared. It required applicants to fill in their personal details: full name, location, phone number and email.

Another version of a widespread scam

The page “Zimbabwe Ministry of Finance & Econ Dev” seems official, but was only created on 25 July and so far has just three posts.

The country’s actual Ministry of Finance and Economic Development does not have a Facebook page. The Facebook link on its website simply returns to the site’s home page.

IMF communication officer Akuamoah-Boateng Kwabena told Africa Check that the post was part of a scam used in several countries.

“This is indeed false,” he said.

Africa Check has recently debunked a number of almost identical scams that claim government departments in African countries are offering grants in partnership with international organisations. 

The scams all ask for people’s personal details. – Dancan Bwire


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