Paynesville — Links claiming to be providing information about international scholarships from the governments of Dubai, Sweden, Turkey, Germany, and the United States are going viral on many social media platforms including Messenger and WhatsApp.
Report By: Varney Kelvin Sirleaf, Local Voices Liberia Fact Checker
These links purports to offer you a list of scholarship benefits by signing up. They claim that as beneficiary of either of the scholarship, you will get free tuition, living allowance, accommodation, and medical facilities, amongst others.
Are these Links Real?
It is important to note that all of these links have the same beginning and ending. The only difference is the name of the country that is purportedly offering the scholarship.
When one clicks on the link, it gives you a blank form requesting your personal information. What is suspicious is that the form makes it mandatory for you to fill in a space with your email password – something that should clearly raise your concern.
In our quest to find out the authenticity of these links, we copied one of the links and pasted it in an online link verification tool used to authenticate online information, but the result was different from the URL in the link that we pasted.
The search further showed a number of scholarship applications for other countries including Germany and Turkey; however, all of these were different from what the links divulge. Our research did reveal that the KOC University in Turkey, one of the university these viral links seem to be referencing, was offering a fully funded graduate scholarship for international students by the Turkish government but interestingly, the duration for application did expire in March this year.
So, it seems what the creator of the link did was to generate another version of this application, which is no longer active, and then renamed it. They also tried to hide the fake URL by shortening it.
The next concern is how did all the scholarship applications for the different countries get the same URL? This is another sufficient reason to question the authenticity of these links.
Because our research findings revealed that the links in these WhatsApp messages are completely different from the URL of the sites the links takes you, it is most likely that these links are not real.
It is also suspicious to see that the only requirement for obtaining an international scholarships is by clicking on a link. We conclude that these links in the WhatsApp messages are fake and only intended to mislead before who received them.
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