A broadcast message has been circulating on WhatsApp claiming that Ijeoma Otabor, popularly known as Phyna, the winner of the 2022 and 7th edition of a Nigerian reality competition, Big Brother Naija, is giving out 5k airtime and 10GB data to her fans.
The post also tagged PiggyVest, ShowMax, and Flutterwave as sponsors of the incentives Phyna is purportedly giving out to her fans.
ROUNDCHECK got the claim on October 7th, 2022.
Two links were attached to the message, one for data and the other for airtime.
The link provided for data is (https://ti1.live/PiggyVest-BBNaija-Data-Offer); while the link for airtime is (https://ti1.live/PiggyVest-BBNaija-Data-Offer?Airtime)
It was however discovered that both links are the same.
First aired on M-Net and DStv Channel 37 from March 5th to June 4th, 2006, Big Brother Naija, formerly known as Big Brother Nigeria, is a Nigerian reality competition television series.
The show is based on the Big Brother television franchise, in which contestants live in an isolated house and compete for a large cash prize and other material prizes during the show.
Since its commencement in 2006, the TV show has hosted 7 editions. The last edition tagged ‘Season 7 level up’ came to an end on October 3rd, 2022.
Who Is Phyna?
Ijeoma Josephina Otabor, popularly known as Phyna was born on June 2nd, 1997 in Edo State. She hails from Edo State, where she also had her primary, secondary and tertiary education.
Phyna, who enjoys her career as a singer and a hype woman, came to fame following her participation in the reality show which started on July 23rd, 2022.
The 25-year-old Phyna won the BBNAIJA Season 7 “Level Up” on October 3rd, 2022.
Phyna reportedly beats Bryann, the runner-up, and four other housemates to claim the N100 million grand prize up for grabs this season, an SUV from Innoson Motors, and other consolation prizes.
Flutterwave is a Nigerian fintech company that provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers in different countries.
PiggyVest is an online savings platform that makes saving possible by combining discipline plus flexibility to make you grow your savings.
Showmax is an internet TV service established in 2015 with its content available across sub-Saharan Africa and to selected diaspora markets worldwide.
To verify the information attached to the link, we opened the link where the home page displays the picture of Phyna.
After inserting one’s mobile number and clicking ‘Get data’, the website opens to the next page.
On the next page, the names of some Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) companies were on display.
After selecting any of the listed networks, the next page asked a Yes or No question about whether one is a fan of Phyna or not.
The following page also asked a Yes or No question about whether one needs ’10GB Data’ or ‘5k Airtime’.
After clicking either of the two options, the website takes you to the final page. On that page, instructions will be given to share the link to 5 Whatsapp groups and 15 friends.
ROUNDCHECK observed that all the pages show Flutterwave, PiggyVest, and ShowMax as sponsors of the purported gifts.
However, on the homepage, there are several Facebook comments from people claiming to have gotten data/airtime.
When ROUNDCHECK checked the Facebook accounts, we discovered that there are a number of accounts with similar usernames.
Also, we found out that the Facebook accounts attached to the post do not exist.
Furthermore, a Google Reverse Image search on the cropped images yielded no results.
Hence, we conclude that the screenshot of the comment section has been manipulated.
Also, the information neither appeared on the webpage of the sponsors nor their social media pages.
Verification Tool Shows Site Have Dubious Reputation
For further investigations, ROUNDCHECK used Whois to get information about the domain. Whois is a database that makes it easy to find a website owner.
It was seen that the site was just registered on October 4, 2022. Also, the registrant hid some information.
Using Scamadviser, a platform known for validating the authenticity of websites, ROUNDCHECK found out that several spammers and scammers use the same registrar.
A further check on the social media page of the BBNAIJA Season 7 winner shows no information relating to this claim as well as the social media page of Flutterwave, PiggyVest, and ShowMax respectively show no information relating to the claim.
Meanwhile, an authentic site is not expected to end with .live nor have multiple hyphens (-) in between, with capital letters words. They are red flags for malicious sites.
The viral post on WhatsApp with the claim that Ijeoma Otabor, the winner of the 2022 and 7th edition of a Nigerian reality competition, Big Brother Naija, is giving out 5k airtime and 10GB data to her fans is INCORRECT.
The site is malicious and created to steal the personal information of unsuspecting members of the public.
This was report was carried out under the ROUNDCHECK’s Volunteers’ Network Project cohort II.