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FACT-CHECK

South Sudan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry not offering opportunities to entrepreneurs

The Facebook page alleging that South Sudan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry offers entrepreneurs opportunities is an impersonator trying to scam unsuspecting individuals.

A Facebook page using the Ministry of Trade and Industry – Republic of South Sudan name claiming to give opportunities to South Sudanese entrepreneurs is a hoax.


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The Facebook page, which has 34 likes and 265 followers and describes itself as a government organisation without any review, uses the Minister of Trade and Industry – South Sudan’s pictures (William Anyoun Kuol) and pictures of other diplomats in the country, including the one for President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

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Apart from using the above, the last post on the page is a call for funding allegedly by the Ministry with support from the World Bank to all entrepreneurs and SMEs in the country. They claim the project aims to support all entrepreneurs. This is accessed through a form attached to a link.

The link has a basic Google form titled “Citizen Economic Empowerment Program” that requires one to enter his/her basic information, including why you need the fund. The logos of the World Bank and entrepreneurs’ organisations are at the end of the form.

Screenshots of the call for the application and a copy of some of the responses.
Screenshots of the call for the application and a copy of some of the responses.

Claim Verification:

A keyword search on Facebook of the Ministry of Trade and Industry -South Sudan returned two Facebook pages with the same names.

The first page, Ministry of Trade and Industry – Republic of South Sudan, which is the genuine page, pops up first with 2.5k likes and 2.6k followers. It describes itself as a government organisation with its contact details and location. This page was created on December 23, 2023, with the first name being the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the Republic of South Sudan, before changing it to the current one on December 28, 2023.

The page also put a disclaimer on January 23, 2024, distancing itself from the advertised ongoing funding opportunity, calling it fake and a scam.

On the other hand, the scam page was created on January 20, 2024, with 34 likes and 265 followers.

Scammers often use similar forms to collect personal information from unsuspecting people for their interest and use; some use the same information for hacking, while others will go to the extra stage of selling the data.

The screenshot of the post by the genuine Facebook Page of the Ministry
The screenshot of the post by the genuine Facebook Page of the Ministry.

Conclusion:

211 Check finds the Facebook page impersonating the Ministry of Trade and Industry – Republic of South Sudan and calling entrepreneurs and companies to apply for funds a hoax. The official Ministry’s page has distanced itself from it and warned the public against the new page created with unknown intentions.

Credit: 211 Check

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