By Simon Muli
A Facebook post claims that Abu Dhabi University is offering scholarships. The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based institutional scholarships, the post claims, cover full tuition fees, living, accommodation, medical, traveling, and stationery expenses.
The post asks prospective students to click a link provided to submit their applications.
However, the link does not direct to the legitimate website of Abu Dhabi University, whose domain is adu.ac.ae. Instead, the link directs to another website with a domain — tetfund-grant.online. The fake website impersonates the branding of the institution of higher learning.
The website asks prospective applicants to fill out a form with personal information, including their name, phone numbers, email addresses, and the course they are applying for.
Clicking on the “Apply” button opens up another page congratulating the applicant. It adds that their application for the ongoing Abu Dhabi university scholarship selection has been received. To proceed to the next step, the page asks the applicant to answer three multiple-choice questions about their age, employment and marital status.
Once the applicant has answered the questions, a new page opens up. The new message is that they have been approved to study at Abu Dhabi University for free.
However, in order to access their “Dubai Scholarship Visa Form”, the instruction requires the applicants to share the information with five WhatsApp groups or 15 friends. This sequence mirrors many phishing scams out to mine personal information. At the bottom of the page is a warning printed out in red, that should the applicant fail to share the information as instructed, the Visa Form Page will not load.
The WHOIS information on the imposter website shows that it was registered in Iceland on 7 June 2021, the same month that the link was circulated online, and information about the registrant is hidden.
On the other hand, the WHOIS information on the legitimate Abu Dhabi University website shows that the registrant is the university itself although the date of registration is not indicated.
While Abu Dhabi University provides scholarships to empower outstanding students and inspire them to pursue their educational objectives, there is no information regarding the scholarships offered in question on the Abu Dhabi University website.
Instead, the university segments scholarship allocation based on laid down criteria, and none of the scholarships are fully funded as claimed.
For instance, the university scholarship covers from 10 per cent up to 50 per cent waiver on tuition fees for UAE residents, and middle eastern countries forming the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). On the other hand, the academic scholarships offer a 20 per cent waiver on tuition fees, and only continuing Abu Dhabi University students are eligible.
PesaCheck has looked into the claim that Abu Dhabi University is offering scholarships to students interested in studying there, and finds it to be a HOAX.
This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.