VERA FILES FACT CHECK: HP is NOT giving away ‘5,000 laptops’

(Editor’s Note: This story was updated on May 27 to include the response of HP Philippines to VERA Files.)

A Facebook (FB) page pretending to be affiliated with electronics company Hewlett-Packard (HP) is luring Filipino netizens into joining a fake online giveaway of 5,000 laptops.

HP Philippines’ verified FB account has not posted any announcement it was giving away laptops.

In response to VERA Files, HP Philippines said: “That page is not affiliated with us, as we only have one official Facebook page:”

Several elements of the impostor FB page raise doubts on its legitimacy.

Created in November 2014, a look at the page’s history shows it changed its name on May 24 from “Business” to “Hp Laptops Giveaway Business. Though five years old, it only has two posts, published 30 minutes apart the same day it made the name change.

The faux posts claimed “HP Laptops” will provide laptop units to the first 5,000 people who comment on the post and send a message to the page once done. A screenshot posted by a netizen in the comments section shows the page asks participants to further share the fake post to 10 FB pages as a “final step” in the giveaway.

The first post currently has over 46,000 shares and over 91,000 comments, and the other, more than 18,000 shares and over 28,000 comments.

The comments section of the fake giveaway posts shows thousands of netizens following the page’s instructions, but a number of people have also called out the page for its sham giveaway. FB has since blocked the Messenger platform of Hp Laptops Giveaway Business for 24 hours after people started reporting the sham posts.

Official FB pages or accounts of products, celebrities, or global brands usually have blue check or verified badge given by FB. This ensures that a specific account is legitimate and has been vetted for authenticity by FB itself. Hp Laptops Giveaway Business does not have that badge.

This is not the first time an FB page has scammed netizens into joining a bogus electronics giveaway. A similar post was flagged by VERA Files in December 2019, claiming to distribute “Samsung S12” units. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Netizen hosts BOGUS Samsung ‘S12’ giveaway)

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