VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FAKE Pacquiao, Revillame giveaways bait netizens again

Facebook (FB) netizens using pseudo accounts of celebrities are fooling social media users anew into joining bogus online giveaways. They are now hiding behind the names and faces of television host Willie Revillame and Senator Manny Pacquiao.

On April 22, three FB pages -- Wllie (sic) Revillame. Rxndolgaming, Manyy pacqiauo (sic) cle and Manny pacman Pasa-- each posted they will be raffling off iPhone units and millions-worth of cash. Netizens were instructed to share the post to eight to 15 public groups, send a message to their account, and register through a link, before they could receive their prizes in “two or 25 minutes.”

These giveaways are fake. All three posts employed common tactics used by poser accounts giving bogus prizes.

First, the three accounts are not official FB profiles or pages of the personalities they named.

Revillame’s lone official page carries the title of his television show Wowowin, while Pacquaio has three: his own page, his page as a senator, and his foundation’s page. There are no recent announcements of any online giveaway on any of the mentioned pages.

Revillame on April 21 warned about “groups of FB pages” duping people by posing as the official Wowowin page. The Manny Pacquiao Foundation, on the other hand, issued an advisory last month regarding scams that use the foundation’s name to “phish information” from netizens.

Second, the imposter accounts’ modus operandi is common among bogus raffles on Facebook: the prize the netizens will get depends on the first letter of their name. They would need to send this letter through a private message, and then register through a link -- which always redirects to a free movie streaming site.

Lastly, the posts carry photos swiped from different sources on the Web, in an attempt to add legitimacy to their modus.

  • A March 1 Instagram photo of the Pacquiao family
  • A 2019 photo of the senator distributing packages
  • A picture of the senator giving away money to Makati residents in December 2019, as shown in a video taken by a netizen
  • A 2018 photo of Apple products uploaded by a store in Italy
  • An image of Revillame from Facebook as seen in a 2013 Rappler report
  • A 2007 photo of a woman who won a local cooking contest in the United States
  • A screenshot from a 2019 music video of a duo named Palm Tree Gang

The three bogus posts surfaced over a week after Revillame announced that Wowowin is back on air. The show is famous for giving away cash prizes to its viewers.

These have a combined total of 7,100 reactions, 32,500 comments, and 36,300 shares.

A day before the three fake raffles were posted, three other FB accounts -- Wllie (sic) Revillame Wowowin, Manny Pacquiao Nesa and Financial Planer (sic) -- also published similar bogus giveaways. They took down their posts a day later.

Manyy pacqiauo cle was created in 2017, Manny pacman Pasa in 2019, and Wllie Revillame. Rxndolgaming on March 20.

(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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