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Smartphone giveaway? Avoid engagement bait scams

A message on the Kenyan Facebook page “Size 8 reborn” is offering users free Apple and Samsung phones – with a catch.

“Kampuni za Apple na Samsung kwa kushirikiana nasi, Tunatoa zawadi Kubwa za simu Zaidi ya 250 Aina ya Samsung Galax S9 na 50 iPhone 8 Kuanzia Leo,” it begins, in Kiswahili.

This roughly translates as: “Apple and Samsung are joining us to offer more than 250 Samsung Galaxy S9 and 50 iPhone 8 smartphones, starting today.”

To get the phones, users are told to “like” the page and add a comment giving the colour of phone they want. They also have to repost the message on other Facebook group pages, and inbox “Size 8 reborn” with the word “tayari”, meaning “ready”.

They will then supposedly get a message back notifying them of their win within three hours.

Is the offer genuine? We checked.

Engagement bait

The message is a scam known as engagement bait – posts that ask people to interact by liking, commenting or sharing. The more people do this, the greater the Facebook page’s reach. Facebook is aware of the tactic and is taking active steps to fight it.

Africa Check has previously exposed Facebook pages that offered Samsung, Nokia and iPhone smartphones to grow their reach.

No such promotion

Major brands do occasionally run genuine promotions on social media, but the pages on which they appear are usually linked to their websites. Legit promotions rarely tell users to inbox them privately and usually have clear timelines for when the promotion begins and ends. A request to engage privately is usually a red flag.

Samsung and Apple have no such promotion on their official platforms or in the media. The phone makers have asked users to only visit their official pages and websites for any promotions.

Imposter page

The page “Size 8 reborn” was created on 17 September 2019, as shown in the page’s transparency section, and is not affiliated to any website. The page identifies itself as a “brand” and uses photos of Kenyan celebrity singer Linet Munyali, popularly known as Size 8. 

Munyali’s genuine page –“SIZE 8 Reborn” – was created on 9 May 2013 and has 728,000 followers. It uses the handle @Size8Reborn.

Size 8 reborn” is an imposter page with just over 5,400 followers. Its handle is the unrelated @Poly5678. – Dancan Bwire


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