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No $750 million Covid-19 grant from Nigeria’s vice president – beware of scam

This article is more than 2 years old

Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo is disbursing $750 million to Nigerians as part of a Covid recovery initiative, according to a message circulating on WhatsApp.

The message has also been shared to groups with tens of thousands of members in the country.

Subscribers on Africa Check’s dedicated WhatsApp line in Nigeria asked us to verify the message.

“Hurry now and check if you are eligible to receive 33,000 support from VP Yemi Osinbajo $750 million COVID-19 recovery initiative. This grant is available to all Nigerians,” the message reads.

It includes a link where people can supposedly apply for the grant.

But is any of this true?

Typical online scam

Searching Osinbajo’s verified Facebook and Twitter accounts shows no sign of the offer.

The link in the message leads to a poorly designed web page where visitors are asked to give their names and phone numbers to access the grant. The grammatical errors on the website suggest that it was not created by professionals, such as would typically handle the vice president's communication.

In November 2021 the Nigerian Communications Commission, which oversees the operations of telecommunications companies in the country, warned of online scams designed to collect information which could later be used to defraud individuals.

Read our guide on how to spot online scams here.

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