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It’s a scam! Nigerian government not giving out free laptops on Facebook

IN SHORT: A free laptop from the government would go a long way in helping young Nigerians in need. But this offer is not from the government, it’s a way for scammers to steal your personal information. 

“The Federal Government through NEF has organized FREE LAPTOP SCHEME,” reads a post on Facebook.

It was posted by the account National Empowerment Fund - NEF on 8 May 2023 and includes a link where users are told to register for the free laptops.

In the comment section to the post the account has written that the laptops will be delivered to beneficiaries.

It has attracted over 1,200 likes and more than 60 comments. 

But is the “NEF” and this offer to be trusted? We checked.


What is the NEF?

Africa Check looked up this supposed government fund and found no mention of it online and in any credible media outlets.

We found a similar initiative called the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) by Nigeria’s federal government. It describes itself as dedicated to supporting the creative ideas, skills and talents of young people to help them become entrepreneurs.

Using a fake name is common practice when the aim is to scam people. We looked more closely at the link in the post.

Targeting your personal information

We followed the link and landed on a Google form asking for personal information. Google form is a free survey administration software powered by search engine Google.

The form asked for details such as full name, date of birth, phone number, and home and email addresses.

This is sensitive information that could put users in danger of cyber or physical attacks. 

Other red flags

One of the other red flags is that the page has just over 45 followers on Facebook. This would be significantly higher if it were indeed a government initiative.

For example, N-Power, a Nigerian government initiative aimed at tackling unemployment among young people, has over 650,000 followers on Facebook.

Another red flag is that the page in question is new. Its “page transparency” section shows that it was created on 4 April 2023. It has had little activity since then.

Trying to be safe on Facebook? Follow these tips on how to spot scams on the platform.

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