Posted on: September 14, 2021 Posted by: Kamadi Amata Comments: 0

The website that has advertised the giveaway is not the legitimate Safaricom site.

Syndicated story by PesaCheck.

This website impersonating Safaricom and claiming to give away $3000 in celebration of the company’s ‘30th anniversary’ is a HOAX.

Several screenshots of people, claiming to have received the cash prize, have been attached to the post.

And the post sets out a procedure to get that cash prize, beginning with a questionnaire to test each respondent’s knowledge of the company followed by questions relating to personal information such as age and gender.

Once participants have answered all questions, the next step is to select a box with a prize inside.

The box that this fact-checker picked turned out to be the right choice as they were declared the winner of $3000. However, the catch is: “you must tell 5 groups or 20 friends about our promotions, enter your address and complete registration, and the gifts will be delivered within 5–7 days”.

This is consistent with phishing attempts as everyone who fills the questionnaire must provide their personal details.

A green button labelled “WhatsApp” appears with instructions that one must share with five groups or 20 friends “until the blue bar is full”. Once a user is done sharing to their contacts on WhatsApp, the next step is to claim the prize. You do this by clicking the second green button written “continue”.

This PesaCheck fact-checker clicked on the green ‘WhatsApp’ button and was directed to the last stage, registration. At this stage, respondents are asked to download an application below the registration button and hold it open for 30 seconds, another indicator that something is not right.

Further, users are asked to wait another 24 hours for the administrator to “review their details”. This could be an attempt to hack your device, and hence it is not advisable to download the application.

Clicking on the “complete registration” button redirects to Gearbest, a website advertising electronics such as phones, smartwatches, Bluetooth earphones, laptops, just to name a few.

Though the website promising $3000 has the Safaricom logo and corporate colours, it is not Safaricom’s official website. A Whois search of the website shows it was registered on 7 May 2021, under the domain name: splendidonly.xyz.

Safaricom’s official website was registered on 12 February 2003, under the domain name safaricom.co.ke.

PesaCheck could not find any news of Safaricom offering $3000 to the public to celebrate their 30th anniversary either on their official website or verified social media pages.

Moreover, Safaricom is not 30 years old. The telecommunications company began operations in the year 2000 and will be celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2021.

PesaCheck has looked into a website impersonating Safaricom and claiming to give away $3000 in celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary and finds it to be a HOAX.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck Fact-Checker Naomi Wanjiku and edited by PesaCheck Chief Copy Editor Rose Lukalo. The article was approved for publication by PesaCheck Managing Editor Enock Nyariki.

PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water / sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watchdog organisations.