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HOAX: A claim that the Office of the President in Kenya is giving out grants is a scam

The website is not the legitimate site of the Office of the President and asks users to share the information in order to redeem the grants, targeting businesses and students.

Syndicated Story By PesaCheck.

website claiming that the Office of the President in Kenya is giving out grants to businesses and students is a HOAX.

The website contains the seal of the President of the Republic of Kenya in the top-left corner and a message below titled “Presidential Support Funds 2021 Edition”.

“The Office of the President aims at supporting small businesses and young highschool and university students. The Support Program gives the few selected students KES 6,000 for free. The few shortlisted small businesses owners are also given a boost of KES 9,000,” reads the message.

The webpage also contains an application form through which prospective beneficiaries can obtain the claimed funds. The form requires them to fill out personal information such as name, phone number, date of birth, and current address.

Clicking the “Submit Application” button opens up a new page with a message stating that the funds’ application has been processed and the transaction to the user has begun.

Users are instructed to click on the “Continue” button to proceed, which opens up another webpage congratulating the applicant and saying that the support funds have been approved.

“The cash will be sent to your mobile money account immediately after verification,” adds the message which contains what it claims is an application code.

The right-hand corner of the web page contains logos of money transfer and financial service providers’ including M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Equitel, Mastercard and Visa, among others. Below the logos is a timer indicating the window within which a user must complete the withdrawal process.

The withdrawal process involves clicking the provided “WhatsApp” button to share the message about the grant with 15 friends and five groups. This, the note explains, is meant to verify that the user is human and not a bot.

This sequence mirrors many phishing scams that are modelled with the sole purpose of mining personal information.

Scammers also use tactics similar to these to carry out click fraud, a common scheme that lures users to bogus websites with the promise of a reward.

Those who fall prey to such clickbait are also urged to share the offer with more people, which ultimately brings revenue to the operators of the fake offers, advertisements or campaigns.

The final stage of the verification process requires the user to click the “Complete” button and indicates that the funds will automatically be sent to their phone number immediately.

There is no information about the presidential fund on the legitimate website of the Office of the President, or its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Further, the domain name of the website in question is support-funds.com, which is not the legitimate domain name of the Office of the President — president.go.ke

WHOIS information of the impostor website shows it was registered on 13 October 2021, days before the link was shared on social media and points to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík.

WHOIS information for the legitimate website of the Office of the President shows it was registered on 1 August 2013.

PesaCheck has looked into the website claiming that the Office of the President is giving out grants to businesses and students, 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 Simon Muli and edited by PesaCheck chief copy editor Rose Lukalo.

The article was approved for publication by 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.

 

Kamadi Amatahttps://mtaaniradio.or.ke
I am a digital content creator with niche in Health, politics, and Human Interest Features.
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