VERA FILES FACT CHECK: An impostor Anne Curtis FB account posts FAKE giveaways

An impostor account using the name of Anne Curtis-Smith is baiting Facebook (FB) users in various public groups with fake and potentially harmful online giveaways. The bogus raffle includes an instruction that asks for the personal details of netizens who want to receive the promised “prize.”

A review of Curtis-Smith’s official social media accounts shows no announcement of her conducting any raffle nor any post bearing the same mechanics.

Poser FB account Tulong Ni Annecurtis published the duplicitous raffles from Nov. 24 to 28 in at least five public groups—Tutok to Win Wowowin GMA7, TUTOK ADN WIN GMA LIVE SHOW TV, TUTOK TO WIN!!! - ATTENDANCE HERE!, Shopee Win and Tutok to Win - Shopee Shake. The last three were posted within a minute of each other.

All bore the same mechanics: comment the letter “C” as much as they can, like and share the post, and visit the FB page “Handog ni Anne Curtis,” which is also not an official channel of the actress.

The version published in TUTOK ADN WIN GMA LIVE SHOW TV bore an extra instruction to “send [one’s] contact [details].”

This modus operandi is similar to three other FB posts VERA Files Fact Check found that were published by Tulong Ni Annecurtis, but have since been deleted. Posted on Nov. 23 in the TUTOK AND WIN SA GMA7, Tutok to Win - Shopee Shake, and Tutok To Win @ Shopee Sa GMA7, the impostor FB page asked netizens to “send [their] full contact details” to a now-taken-down page named Tulong Kapamilya, saying the account will “immediately contact” the raffle winners.

Some netizens oblivious to the deception readily shared their personal information -- full name, complete address, and contact number -- in the comments section of the posts.

Computer-related identity theft” or the “intentional acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration or deletion of identifying information” of other people is a punishable offense under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

As with other fake giveaways misrepresenting celebrities previously debunked by VERA Files Fact Check, Tulong Ni Annecurtis’ version carried photos of the actress and of bundles of cash, ostensibly to lend credibility to its claim.

Among these images were:

  • a glam photo of the actress that has been on the Web since 2015
  • a picture of three wads of P1,000-bills showing a bank's name
  • Curtis-Smith holding a huge check amounting to almost P7.5 million addressed to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), lifted from a November 2017 Radio Mindanao Network report, and
  • bundles of P500- and P1000-bills, originally uploaded on Aug. 4 by “coaches” affiliated with iWatch.Ph, an “advertising platform and online business” based in Quezon City.

Tulong Ni Annecurtis cropped out the upper part of the original copy of the last photo, to remove iWatch.Ph’s products seen in it.

Social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle detected 97 posts in public FB groups and pages containing the phrase “PARAMIHAN NG" COMMENT''C" (Comment “C” as much as you can),” one of the bogus raffles’ instructions. The 97 posts—some of which were original posts; others, re-shares of the scam—collectively accumulated more than 13,000 interactions from FB users.

(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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