Fact Check: Viral WhatsApp message on Rs 5K lockdown relief fund to every citizen is false

By Dheeshma Puzhakkal  Published on  25 May 2020 8:33 AM GMT
Fact Check: Viral WhatsApp message on Rs 5K lockdown relief fund to every citizen is false

Hyderabad: Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, a fake WhatsApp forward was going viral with the claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving every Indian Rs 15,000 as relief against the Coronavirus lockdown. On the same lines, a new WhatsApp forward has emerged in India, claiming that the government has started giving out Rs 5,000 relief fund to each citizen. Though the message does not specify which federal government (FG) is offering the fund, the message carries a logo that resembles the seal of President of Nigeria.

Here is what the message reads,

"FG has finally approved and started giving out free Rs 5,000 relief funds to each citizen😍

Below is how to claim and get yours credited instantly as I have just did now


Note : You can only claim and get credited once and it's also limited so get yours now instantly."

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However, the claim is false and the given link is fake.

Some Twitter users also shared the message on Twitter asking for the authenticity of the claim.

Fact Check

NewsMeter did a fact check on the authenticity of this claim. The message includes a link that leads to an online survey site asking you to complete the survey to avail the lockdown fund.

Check the archived link here.

Authenticity of the URL

The URL of this website states that it is hosted on fund.ramaphosafoundation.com. However, unlike the claim in the message, the URL is not associated with the government. Meanwhile, there is a Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation in South Africa whose chairman is the current president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The survey that gives you same results, regardless of your answer

The first question in the survey is, "Are you an Bonafide Indian Citizen?"

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However, on selecting either of the options (yes/no) it always redirects you to the second question,"How much can sustain you throughout the lockdown?"

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The site offers packages of Rs 2,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 . The site also says Rs 10,000 is unavailable.

Any amount you click from the above, the site will always lead you to the next question, "What will you use your free Rs.5,000 for?"

Share the survey on WhatsApp

After finishing the survey, the website asks you to share the same link with seven WhatsApp groups, and following which it claims you will be asked for account number and bank name to receive the amount.

"Congratulations, you are eligible for the free Rs.5,000 lockdown funds.

How to get your Rs.5,000 credited to your account

1.Before you continue, click the green button "SHARE" and send this to 7 WhatsApp groups (Only Groups)

2.After the sharing, you will be asked for account number and bank name to receive the Rs.5,000 cash."

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Fake Facebook comments

Also, the website displays a number of comments that resemble Facebook comments from beneficiaries who have received the amount offered by the website.

However, if you notice, regardless of the number of times you visit the website, the name of the 'beneficiaries' and timestamp in the comments never changes. They are always set at 'just now' for five and '2 mins ago' for one comment. Interestingly, in fact, the number of likes, set at '204,208 and the number of comments '173,330' never change, no matter how many times you take the survey.

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Hence, the viral post claiming the government is giving Rs 5,000 as relief fund as a limited time offer to citizens, is false.

Claim Review:Viral WhatsApp message on Rs 5K lockdown relief fund to every citizen
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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