Beware! ‘2021 Dangote empowerment’ post in circulation is FALSE

A  post circulating on WhatsApp claims that the ‘2021 Dangote Empowerment’ is ongoing and urged people to click a link to check their ‘cash prize’ eligibility status.

The claim sent for verification to the FactCheckHub, the fact-checking arm of The ICIR, was published on February 18, 2021. It reads:

2021 Dangote Empowerment. Hurry now, check if you are eligible to receive a cash prize as part of the Dangote Empowerment Grant.  Apply Here.

The Claim

Dangote [Aliko Dangote Foundation] is inviting individuals to apply for the 2021 empowerment grant.

The Findings

Findings by the FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian business mogul who owns a conglomerate of businesses.  Forbes 2021 billionaire ranking lists him as the wealthiest man in Africa.

He runs a philanthropist organisation known as the Aliko Dangote Foundation, which offers humanitarian support in various capacity.

Francis Awowole-Browne, the Director of Corporate Communication, Dangote Industries Limited, in a statement, debunked the viral post saying it is a scam meant to defraud people.

He said: “Our attention has been drawn to a fraudulent scheme circulating on WhatsApp and other social media titled 2021 Dangote Empowerment purporting to be sanctioned by the Aliko Dangote Foundation.

“Please note that this initiative is a scam aimed at defrauding unsuspecting people, and we strongly advise that you disregard it.

“While we work towards shutting down the activities and accounts of these scammers, please be advised to contact the law enforcement agency in case you have made contact with the group.”

Avoid falling victim to such scams. 

Over time, the FactCheckHub have debunked several of such claims hiding under the guise of recruitment, support fund, empowerment programme, a government activity or free internet data.

These claims usually follow a similar modus operandi by targeting areas that would be of interest to many persons.

They are often shared via the WhatsApp platform. Oftentimes, they impersonate a group, person or organisation, and they all have a link they ask people to click.

The link directs to a phishing website either meant to access people’s information for nefarious purposes or to garner traction in order to sell advertisements or sometimes get people to fill a survey under false pretence.

Most importantly – a red flag to be aware of – is that they always ask for the link to be shared multiple times with call-to-action phrases like “Share it until the bar is full”.






     

     

    Also, these kinds of posts are usually littered with bad grammar and spelling errors.

    Surfing the website or social media handles of the organisation the post claims to be from is a way to avoid falling victim to such scams. In this instance, visiting the Dangote Foundation’s website. This is because organisations would often share such information on their social media platforms.

    You can also read the FactCheckHub article on how to Fact-check viral posts shared via WhatsApp.

    The Verdict

    The claim that Dangote [Aliko Dangote Foundation] is inviting individuals to apply for the 2021 empowerment grant is FALSE.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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