That’s the intro to a badly written post on the Facebook page “M TN Giveaway Quarantine screen press”, shared in South Africa and several other African countries.
The post shows photos of people with what appear to be winnings: a new car, laptop boxes and a full shopping trolley.
It says the “first 5000 people to type the word MTN in the comment section” will win “new Samsung phone, Iphones, Cars or Laptops”. The post has 2,700 comments, and has been shared more than 10,000 times.
MTN is a South African multinational telecoms company operating in many African, European and Asian countries.
The post is full of spelling mistakes and poor grammar – unlikely in communication from a major company. And there are no links to any of MTN’s official social media accounts or websites in the post or the page, which is suspicious.
It ends with: “Please send us message via send MESSAGE button bellow once you are done typing and your phone would be shipped to your address.”
Posts that ask for personal information via direct messages are often scams. Is this one legit? We checked.
Fake page, fake giveaway
We found one of the photos in the post on a website in Kinyarwanda, a Rwandan language, referencing a promotion that MTN ran in 2019. A reverse image search of the other photos came up empty.
So we asked MTN about the post. MTN South Africa and the MTN Group are yet to respond, but MTN Nigeria told us the post was fake.
“Product and value offerings are done on the company’s official Facebook pages,” their spokesperson said. – Grace Gichuhi
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.
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.