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‘National Youth Empowerment Fund’ scam resurfaces on WhatsApp, Facebook in Nigeria

IN SHORT: If you were to believe messages circulating on social media in Nigeria, citizen beneficiaries of the National Youth Empowerment Fund could get up to N700,000. Don't fall for it though. It’s a scam.

Posts shared on WhatsApp and Facebook in Nigeria advertise a funding scheme for “bona fide citizens” who need help with their education and businesses.

“The National Youth Empowerment Fund vision is to give out 150,000 – 550,000 grant to every citizen under the age 13-65 years from 2023-2025,” the post reads.

According to the 20 June 2023 post, citizens aged 13 to 25 can receive between N150,000 and N300,000, while those aged 25 to 65 can receive between N400,000 and N700,000.

“The payments has just began for all applicants, register to be part of the beneficiaries,” the post advises.

It has been published on other Facebook pages here, here and here. The claim was also posted by a page which appears to belong to Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of Nigeria's president Bola Tinubu.

Is there such a fund? We checked.


Old scam resurfaces with minor tweaks

The link in the post leads to an amateurish-looking web form that asks for personal details. It then instructs applicants to share the website link with friends on Facebook and WhatsApp.

Other posts containing the claim ask applicants to call the phone number provided to access the fund – an unusual requirement for a government-funded programme.

Africa Check debunked a similar claim in 2021 where the post contained similar details.

Posts that typically ask people to engage by liking, commenting or sharing are examples of engagement bait. The reach of the post increases as people interact with it. They are also, usually, not genuine.

Read our guide on how to avoid online scams, especially on Facebook.

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