VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Rape video of OFW in Middle East FAKE NEWS

At least 43 websites are sharing hoax reports about the supposed rape of an overseas Filipino worker, in some reports a man and in others a woman, in the Middle East.

They lure online users with clickbait headlines containing lurid details, and claim the crime was caught on video:

  • "PINAY DH SA MIDDLE EAST, 'GINAHASA NG TATLONG KATRABAHO AT PINOST PA SA SOCIAL MEDIA ANG BIDYO', BABAE KRITIKAL (Filipina domestic helper in the Middle East raped by co-workers who posted the video on social media, woman in critical condition)!"
  • FULL VIDEO ng Pinoy nurse sa Saudi, Ginahasa at Pinasukan pa ng Bote ng Coke sa Kanyang Puwet ng Limang Arabo, Kritikal (Full video of Filipino nurse in Saudi raped by Arabs who also inserted a coke bottle in his anus, in critical condition)!”

They share a similar scheme with the string of death hoaxes VERA Files Fact Check reported in June.

The supposed videos, when clicked, only play for a few seconds and get cut by a dubious “security check.” (Read VERA FILES FACT CHECK: The scheme behind scams: Why death hoaxes don’t die)

Among the websites that carried the fake news reports are worldstrends.info and balitangpanglahat.info which carry at least 20 ads in their page.

They contain a pirated Bandila report about the rape of an OFW by a Saudi Arabian taxi driver, which stops playing after two seconds.

The Bandila report possibly dates back to 2007. Broadcaster Henry Omaga Diaz said the OFW's story surfaced "while search operations were ongoing for 'Melissa,' who allegedly was made a sex slave by her Arab employer and was in the news August 2007.

The pirated video in worldstrends.info and balitangpanglahat.info was uploaded in Youtube November 2014 by the channel "bestelly ever."

More than 300,000 people have been reached by the hoax rape reports in these two websites alone.

They circulated the same week several legitimate stories about OFWs came were reported, first the abduction of three Filipino engineers in Libya, and then a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia alleging her employer poured boiling water over her.

(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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