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Are banks offering new year prizes?

Avatar: Naol Getachew
Naol GetachewSeptember 1, 2021
HAQCHECKFact checking
Are banks offering new year prizes?

Posts by Telegram channels, made in the name and branding of  “Abay Bank”, “Commercial Bank of Ethiopia”, and Amhara Bank s.c, with over 7,733, 52,350, and 67,480 followers respectively, have been enormously circulating on telegram. All the posts have identical messages offering people attractive prizes on the condition that they join their channels and share the messages with a number of people.

HaqCheck has interrogated the contents of the posts and confirmed them to be Hoaxes.

            

The first Telegram Channel’s Amharic Post claiming to present a lucrative bid from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia begins with the statement,  “Marking the 1.1 Trillion profit CBE achieved, the bank president Ato Abi Sano offers prizes aimed at motivating telegram channels. Thus, the first prize is a 300,00 Br three-wheeler vehicle to be awarded for 200 winners along with a package of housewares worth 50,000 Br each. . .”

In this way, the message tries to lure people by listing five different attractive prizes ranging from the first to the last offer of 5,000 Br for 100 people and a number of smartphone prizes. However, it reminds people to comply with its instructions in order to qualify for the prizes: joining the channel and inviting more than 50 people by following the shared link. 

The Second Telegram channel’s Amharic post published as an official message of Abay Bank reads “Wishing the families of our channel a happy new year, our bank keeps its promises by presenting you a sharing and winning prize program on the occasion of the coming new year.”

 Hence:1st prize is 500,000 birr for 50 winners and refrigerators each worth 40,000 Br ... “. The post reads on presenting 6 hierarchical prizes ranging from the first grand prize to the last one offering 5,000 Br and other new year special gifts. Finally, this post also puts forward an instructive pre-condition to be followed so as to qualify for the prizes: joining the channel and sharing it to more than 50 accounts. 

The Third Chanel’s post taking the name of Amhara Bank announces, “Amhara Bank has finalized its preparations to go operational in the coming Ethiopian new year, 2014. With the notion of retaining customers until it officially starts service, our bank is offering prizes for the new year. Thus; 1st prize is a 300,000  birr vehicle for 200 lucky people and housewares worth 50,000 Br each …” Similar to its previous counterparts, this message also provides a list of tempting prizes with the instruction of joining the channel and sharing the message. 

In an effort to verify the Telegram posts, HaqCheck has talked to Dr. Letenah Ejigu Wale, a board member of Amhara Bank. said that the telegram posts are not real and are hoaxes. ”Our bank has no social Media pages and Channels. People should have to protect themselves from these kinds of social media scams,” he opines.

On the other hand, CBE announced its official Social media pages alerting its customers to protect themselves from fake pages on its official verified Facebook page, a month ago.

We have also looked into the Telegram channel address referenced on Abay bank’s and CBE’s official websites, substantiating no new year prizes are offered by the banks.

HaqCheck has finally assured that the posts circulating on the Telegram channels are a Hoax and have not been promoted by the Banks.

In light of this topic, HaqCheck advises users to:

  • Check the web address (URL) and domains.
  • Stay alert and be skeptical, be aware of the identity of the information provider, and try to cross-check from the impersonated organization.
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately, take time to check and counter-check the authenticity of the sender.
  • Contact the organization independently, when there are any doubts.
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A PIECE BYNaol Getachew

Naol is a Journalist, who works as a fact-checker at HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe & its CSO partner Inform Africa. He is a graduate of French Literature and International Skills from Addis Ababa University.