VERA FILES FACT CHECK: IMPOSTOR FB page uses Sharon Cuneta to sell cereal product

A fake Facebook (FB) page illicitly used the name of Sharon Cuneta and altered a video featuring the megastar to peddle a chia seed cereal that purportedly aids in weight loss and developed by a so-called Japanese Nutrition Institute. 

The said institute is non-existent and the post is linked to an online retail account.

Also, the product is not in the Food and Drug Administration’s list of food and drugs with certificates of product registration.

The video first appeared on Nov. 30, and continued to circulate with more than 322,000 recent views according to FB. Claiming to be Cuneta, the video’s headline read: “I put the web link where I bought legit products here >>”

The link redirects to a retail site that asks netizens to complete an order form by providing personal information such as full name, phone number and complete address.

The rest of the FB post talks about how Cuneta allegedly lost weight due to the help of a “certified weight loss method” developed by the non-existent nutrition institute using a cereal product called “Meizhou Chia Seed Cereal.”

The minute-and-a-half altered video shows dermatologist Dr. Aivee Teo introducing an episode where Cuneta revealed how she lost weight and a photo of the megastar supposedly holding up a big can of the chia cereal.

The cropped video of Teo was actually taken from a March 2022 video published on her YouTube channel where Cuneta followed a “special diet” for weight loss developed by the dermatologist, not the method made by a Japanese institute mentioned in the FB post.

The product’s name was not mentioned at all throughout Teo’s 20-minute YouTube video.

A cursory keyword search also reveals that the Japanese Nutrition Institute does not exist. The query result only linked back to another FB post that markets other food products.

The photo of Cuneta supposedly holding up a can of the cereal product was also altered. The original February 2022 Instagram (IG) photo shows the singer-actress showing off a plaque of recognition from the Guild of Educators, Mentors and Students.

The video emerged a week after Cuneta, in her official IG account, advertised “all-organic” gift baskets from her farm.

FB page Sharon Cunet.a Daily (created on Oct. 12) published the post, garnering more than 16,000 reactions, 4,500 comments, 1,000 shares and 1.4 million views. The page was previously named DimplesRomana Daily before it changed on Dec. 1.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

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