HOAX! Government Isn’t Giving GH¢700 as COVID-19 Lockdown Fund

A viral post circulating on WhatsApp claims that a GH¢ 700 per citizen COVID-19 lockdown relief fund has been made available to Ghanaians and that they are to click on a link to claim the money.

The message indicates that the money is being given by the government.

“FG has finally approved and have started giving out free 700 GHS Relief Funds to each citizen.? Below is how to claim and get yours credit Instantly as I have just did [sic] now http://gh.freemobiledataz.com/   Note : You can only claim and get credited once and it’s also limited so get your now Instantly,” the viral message reads.

 Fact-checkGhana.com looked into this claim and found it to be completely false.

Explanation: Like every country in the world that has recorded cases of COVID-19, citizens in Ghana have been negatively affected by the pandemic. To mitigate the effect, some countries have rolled out different relief packages for citizens.

In Ghana, a number of reliefs have been given, including a 3-months’ waiver on water bills, full to 50 percent waiver on electricity bills among others.

With regards to the viral claim, our attention was drawn to the fact that the supposed GH¢700 was being given by the FG (Federal Government).

Given that Ghana does not run a federal government system, we realized that the claim most likely did not emanate from Ghana and the information therein was very likely to be false.

While the website address does not suggest anything like a relief package or anything related to COVID-19, we visited it and found a survey with questions such as ‘are you a Bonafide Ghana Citizen?’ and ‘how much can sustain you throughout the lockdown’, among others.

At the end of the survey, it asks respondents to share the post many times to be able to redeem the amount. This is clearly a scam that intends to prey on the desperation of those who have responded to the survey to share and get many others to also do same.

What is also more curious is the fact that there was no institutional or personal address or phone number listed on the website.

After checking on social media to see who and where this information may have been shared previously and, perhaps track its source, we found out that the hoax has been shared in other countries such as Uganda, South Africa, and Nigeria but with different amounts of currencies of the respective countries.

We therefore conclude that the claim in the viral post is false and a hoax.

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