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Screenshot claiming Benazir Income Support Program disbursements were hacked is false

No reports of BISP accounts being hacked to steal the recipients disbursements so far

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Claim: BISP accounts designated for receiving flood relief donations have been hacked.

Fact: BISP officially clarified that none of their accounts were hacked. No reports claiming recipients have suffered such fraud have surfaced.

On 19 September 2022, former deputy speaker of the National Assembly and member of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) Qasim Khan Suri shared a screenshot of an ARY news bulletin that claims the Benazir Income Support Program was hacked and funds are being siphoned away from flood relief efforts.

Fact or Fiction?

The claim is false; The Benazir Income Support Program’s verified Twitter account published a refutation to the ARY news bulletin on the same day, clarifying that no such hack had taken place.

Furthermore, BISP clarified on their Twitter handle that some people had been arrested for a scam which involved officials making undue deductions from disbursements. 

PTI politician Qasim Suri, who significantly contributed to the amplification of the claim on Twitter, quoted the BISP clarification while attempting to defend himself and claiming that his source was another politician, Shazia Atta Mari from the Pakistan Peoples’ Party. Mari, whose photo appears in the ARY news bulletin, quoted Suri’s tweet and claimed that she had made no such comment and that this was an instance of fake news. 

A search with different forms of the terms “BISP”, “hack”, and “accounts” in various permutations and combinations did not yield any results for news reports claiming a hack had affected a BISP recipient.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 7-day period since 19 September 2022 to 25 September 2022 using the following search terms:

  • “BISP” “hack” 
  • “ہیک” “بی آئی ایس پی”

By searching these terms, we found that the screenshot was shared over 937 times and received over 4,457 interactions on Facebook. Some of them can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. On Twitter we found that the tweets echoing the claim gathered over 9802 interactions and reached almost 1,552,243 followers. Some of them can be found here, here, here, here, here and here

Conclusion: An ARY news bulletin that claims the Benazir Income Support Program’s flood relief accounts were hacked is false.  Although culprits have been arrested in relation to other kinds of fraud, BISP has not suffered a hack.

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