VERA FILES FACT CHECK: 'Death' of prosecutor in viral ‘5-minutes' video a HOAX

Another death hoax is making the rounds on social media this week, published by three newly-constructed websites, one of which also carried fake news just days earlier about a woman being shot dead. The latest victim is the public prosecutor whose heated verbal exchange with traffic enforcers went viral last week.

Flemish application developer Maarten Schenck has said that hoaxes that have an emotional pull are created by websites with the intent of generating revenues.

The latest fabricated story bore the headline: "JUST IN: PISKAL na Nakasagutan ng MMDA Enforcers, PATAY matapos Pagbabarilin sa Tapat ng Kanyang Bahay sa Caloocan. Asawa nito, Kritikal (Just in: Prosecutor who talked back to MMDA enforcers, dead after getting shot in front of own house in Caloocan. Spouse, in critical condition)!"

It was published by makibalita.info and unanghirit.info, created just last Aug. 16, and napankamkumametbeewan.info, set up Aug. 9, which is also among a number of websites that carried a death hoax involving a woman who had beaten up her partner's child.

VERA Files has fact-checked a number of these death reports over the past months and proved that they are scams. (See: VERA FILES FACT CHECK: The scheme behind scams: Why death hoaxes don’t die).

The death hoax story involving the prosecutor featured about 20 advertisements that took up more space than actual content. The report on the "child beating woman" carried 19.

The fake death story on the prosecutor who was disputing an illegal parking violation carried as its content a report from the GMA News TV show, Balitanghali, which, after a few seconds, stops playing and prompts viewers to answer a Facebook "security check" to continue watching.

Opening the video on Youtube reveals a legitimate report uploaded on GMA News's official channel. But it is more than a year old -- published May 21, 2017 -- and is about a different killing.


(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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