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No, South African billionaire Johann Rupert not touting investments on Facebook – cheapfake video a scam

IN SHORT: South Africans, ignore a viral video with dubbed audio of billionaire Johann Rupert appearing to offer an investment opportunity too good to be true. It is and it’s a scam.

“Currently your life is about to transform. My name is Johann Rupert and I am one of the wealthiest South African–,” a man appears to say in a video repeatedly posted on Facebook in May 2024.

The video does show billionaire Johann Rupert, said to be South Africa’s richest person.

“Today is your lucky day,” he seems to say. “Today we begin a financial revolution before your eyes. You are one of the selected few who will get a chance to change your life. Only the bravest will be able to seize this opportunity. Out of 100 invited, only the 50 fastest and most determined will succeed.”

He then describes an investment scheme promised to earn a return of US$1,000 a day for the rest of the investor’s life. That’s between R18,000 and R19,000 a day.

“Imagine a life without fear. The key here is the timing. If you start at the right time, you will succeed. So be vigilant. Enter the site and start acting now,” the video goes on.

The post includes a link to a website.

But is South Africa’s richest person really selling an investment scheme on Facebook?

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Rupert interviewed at Financial Times summit

Africa Check took screenshots of the video and ran them through a reverse image search.

This led us to the original video, uploaded on the Financial Times YouTube channel in November 2019.

Rupert’s suit and posture is the same, as is the striped banner behind him.

Its description reads: “FT Africa Summit - In Conversation with Johann Rupert.”

The Financial Times, or FT, is an influential UK-based business newspaper. It holds a one-day Africa summit every year.

In the original 28-minute video Rupert discusses a range of economic and political issues. He does not attempt to sell an investment.

The video on Facebook has been dubbed, with a different voice added to promote the scheme.

And its link goes to a dodgy website with the URL – similar to the address of the legitimate news site News24 – but designed to appear to be the website of South African state-owned broadcaster SABC News.

The headline on the webpage reads: “SECRET SUCCESS: Over 200,000 South African citizens have achieved financial independence with a new investment platform, earning up to R120K per month!”

This in turn links to a form headed: “Start now with only R4,700 deposit.” It asks for personal information, such as name, email address and phone number.

All this fakery – the cheapfake dubbed video and the fake SABC News website – clearly indicates that the Facebook posts are a scam and should be ignored.

Africa Check has previously exposed similar scams, such as one that used an altered video of South Africa-born billionaire Elon Musk selling a fake investment.

Johann Rupert is not promoting a scheme that would earn $1,000 a day. As with any scam, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

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