A message claiming that the federal government will be providing free ₹ 5,000 relief fund to each citizen is doing rounds on social media. The message has a link which states that the users can ‘instantly claim’ the amount using the given link. Let’s fact-check the claim.
Claim: The federal government will be providing ₹ 5,000 relief fund to each citizen.
Fact: The link seen in the message is of a dubious website. The government is not providing ₹ 5,000 relief fund to each citizen. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
Let’s check for clues and try to ascertain the authenticity of the message:
1. When the link (https://bit.ly/free—funds) in the post is opened, it is directed to a website (http://fund.ramaphosafoundations.com/). The website address (domain) of this website is different from the website domain of government sites which generally end with ‘gov.in’ or ‘nic.in’.
2. Regardless of the number of times a person visits the website, the page will show – ‘Left 1936 FREE lockdown packages’.
3. Clicking on any of the options on the page, it displays packages offering ‘₹ 2,000, ₹ 5,000 and ₹ 10,000 (not unavailable)’. Regardless of whatever option is chosen, it is directed to a page asking what will the free Rs 5,000 will be used for.
4. After finishing the survey, comments are displayed. In them, the users have mentioned that they received benefits offered by the website. However, irrespective of the number of times the website is visited, the names of the ‘beneficiaries’ and ‘timestamp’ always remains the same. Also, the number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ do not change.
5. At the end of the survey, the website asks users to share the website on WhatsApp groups to get the benefits. It is unlikely for a government website to include such steps for its schemes.
Also, during the search process, it is found that the same message is also viral in Nigeria and Kenya. Those posts can be seen here and here. The website is in the name of ‘ramaphosafoundations’. So, when searched if they have started any such scheme, it was found that ‘Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation’ has already clarified that the message is a scam.
To conclude, a dubious website promises of providing Rs 5,000 relief fund to each citizen.
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