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VERIFY: Beware of a text scam claiming to send pandemic relief money from the World Bank

The World Bank will not ask for your personal information over text and is not giving out any money.

WASHINGTON — The Verify Team is here to fact-check the questionable things you see circulating on social media. With the new round of stimulus checks going out, there are a lot of offers popping up online and through text, many of which are not true.

QUESTION: Is the World Bank Group really sending 'pandemic unemployment assistance grants' through texts?

ANSWER: No, this is a scam.

SOURCE:  

  • The World Bank

PROCESS:

With the new round of stimulus checks expected to add an economic boost to millions of Americans, many have been searching for ways to get some aid. And so have scammers.

Some viewers have messaged our Verify team asking about one message that's hitting their phones, claiming someone is eligible for World Bank Unemployment Assistance grant of up to 25,000 dollars. The text also directs you to click on a link to apply, asking you to apply. 

Here's what the text looks like:

Credit: WUSA9
The World Bank will never text you for pandemic assistance

So, we're Verifying, it this offer legit?

Our researchers went straight to the World Bank for this one. A spokesperson for the group said no -- this offer is totally false.

The financial institution told our researchers it's seen an increase in these types of schemes including fake websites, emails, and sophisticated forms and letterhead -- falsely using the World Bank Group to make the offer look authentic
The World Bank says it lends to developing country governments, but it does not lend money directly to individuals. So viewers should be extra wary of those types of scams.

And another red flag with this offer: When you click on the World Bank logo, it takes a site that is not the official website for the World Bank.

Bottom line: We can Verify, no, the World Bank is not offering $25,000 unemployment grants. 

RELATED: VERIFY: No, you don't have to pay to get a COVID vaccine

RELATED: Scammers are using COVID vaccine desperation to cheat people out of their money

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