“Vice President PROFESSOR YEMI OSINBAJO on Monday 11th of April 2022. Offer a matching grant of 33,0000 to individuals to support youth and all Nigerians to solicit for your support upon declaration of my interest to run for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
"My idea for the introduction of Matching Grants to make Our Country to become self-reliant,” reads the message.
The questions on the application form seek personal information such as name, country of residence, and desired course of study.
Clicking on the “Apply Now” button opens up another page congratulating the respondent for being selected to receive the said grant.
The message also instructs the respondent to complete a multiple-choice questionnaire which seeks information about the applicant’s employment and marital status. It also asks the respondents to indicate the reason why they want the grant.
After answering the questions, a new page with a set of instructions for the applicants appears.
The first instruction is for the user to click on the provided “Invite Friends/Group” button to share the information about the grant with 15 friends or five groups on WhatsApp.
This sequence mirrors many phishing scams that are modelled as promotional giveaways aimed at mining people’s 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.
After sending the invitation, the next step is to click the “Get Withdrawal Code” button.
“If you do not complete this step correctly, The support page will not load,” reads a warning at the bottom of the page.
The post also has over 200,000 likes and people claiming to have accessed the grant, while there is a continuous rapid update running into 100,000 of alleged beneficiaries of the grant.
Verification: The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) investigation shows that there is no information about the said grant on Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s Website, his Facebook page or Twitter handle.
While the domain name of the impostor website is ‘freeclaim-it.online’, that of the legitimate website of Prof. Osinbajo is yemiosinbajo.ng.
The WHOIS information on the impostor website reveals that it was registered on Nov. 5, 2021 in Iceland.
On the other hand, the WHOIS information about the legitimate website of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo shows that it was registered on Dec. 25, 2017. A legitimate website usually contains an older registration date than the impostor website.
Also the legitimate domain of Prof Osinbajo’s Website is registered to Example Inc in Lagos State Nigeria and the registrant is Adegbenga Agoro
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is one of the 2023 Presidential aspirants on the platform of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress(APC).
Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, took to his Twitter (https://twitter.com/akandeoj) handle to debunk the claim for grant on May 3, 2022.
Verdict:The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has examined the website impersonating Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and promising grants in his name, and found it to be a hoax.
This fact-check was written by Cecilia Ijuo, who works with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in collaboration with PesaCheck.