Zimbabwe: Local NGO Disassociate From Fake Whatsapp Group

10 September 2020

Plan International has refuted a circulating social media message and WhatsApp group links encouraging out of school girls to register for educational support from the organisation.

Criminal syndicates in the country are taking advantage of the deepening socio-economic crisis to fleece unsuspecting victims of their hard earned cash through offering what appears like lucrative opportunities.

The syndicates are creating WhatsApp groups and calling on participant to deposit cash in bank accounts using corporates and NGOs.

In a statement, Plan International distanced itself from the consortiums saying the messages may have malicious intent.

"Whilst it is true that the organisation has a project called Supporting Adolescent Girls Education (SAGE) that is supporting out of school adolescent girls in selected communities across 11 districts in Zimbabwe it has not engaged any third party outside its organisational structures to mobilise girls on its behalf.

"Plan International disassociates itself with the social media messages and fake WhatsApp group link in circulation. We are concerned that the originators of these messages may have malicious intent and should be ignored. The fake messages and link should not be shared onwards," read the statement

The organisation has called upon authorities to investigate the intentions of the group administrator.

"The relevant authorities are being engaged to investigate the intentions of the fake WhatsApp group administrator. Identifying a real Plan International message from a fake one is extremely important, and the following is how this can be done: Plan International assistance and services are free.

"Plan does not request for any payment from individuals to be part of its projects, will not ask you to provide personal information about children or ask for photographs, without a prior and direct engagement with us and does not communicate organisational information through third parties and on informal platforms. Anyone doing the above is not from Plan International but a fraudulent individual usurping our identity," the organisation said.

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