“MTN is here to support the First 5,000 students because of this pandemic period,” one post reads.
MTN is a large mobile telecoms company which operates in several African, European and Asian countries. But it isn’t giving away products to help students through the Covid-19 pandemic. The entire Facebook page is a scam.
One of several fake giveaways
Africa Check recently investigated a very similar Facebook page and found the MTN giveaways it was advertising were fake. Just like that page, “M.T.N Lockdown Giveaways - Kingdom” has no links to any of MTN’s official social media accounts or websites in the posts or the page.
Facebook transparency records show the page was created in 2016 but it has only posted twice, both times to advertise laptop, phone and car giveaways.
To win, Facebook users are asked to comment on the post with the letters “MTN”.
This is an example of engagement bait – posts that ask people to interact by liking, commenting on or sharing. The more people do this, the greater the Facebook page’s reach.
Some genuine competitions will ask Facebook users to like and share. But strange requests to comment are an immediate red flag. The poor writing, spelling and grammar of the posts are also cause for suspicion.
Our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them will arm you with more tools to avoid being duped. – Africa Check
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.