VERA FILES FACT CHECK: More FAKE Pacquiao giveaways surface on FB

The name Manny Pacquiao and that of a money remittance service are once again being used in a phishing scheme masquerading as an online giveaway on Facebook (FB).

The fake posts lead with the phrase: “Manny Pacquiao tulong (help).” To supposedly receive the lawmaker’s help, people are instructed to comment the word “me” 50 times, leave a Heart reaction on the post, and send a private message containing their full name, address, and contact number to FB pages posturing as those of Pacquiao and Palawan Express.

Some of the posts promised netizens P30,000 to P50,000 to be sent via the money sending service.

These are the same tactics used in similar fraudulent schemes debunked by VERA Files Fact Check in the past.

In an email on April 23, the athlete-senator’s nonprofit, Manny Pacquiao Foundation, told VERA Files Fact Check these posts were a “scam.”

Pacquiao, in his official social media accounts, has not announced any cash giveaway with Palawan Express. The bogus Pacquiao giveaways first surfaced on April 16, or three days after Palawan Express was made a target of another sham giveaway.

There were a variety of actors that published the fake posts, among them FB accounts using the names of Pacquiao (Manny Pacquiao Tulong), his mother Dionisia (Palawan ni Donisia), game show host Willie Revillame, and two accounts pretending to be Palawan Express.

To make the cash giveaways appear legitimate, several of the posts carried photos of bundles of cash, Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee, and of Pacquiao helping others.

Todate, there are about 105 scam posts spuriously using Pacquiao’s name uploaded to FB, with at least 10 already taken down as of April 23. These collectively got a total of 28,250 reactions, 141,000 comments, and 5,600 shares.

According to data from social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, the fraudulent giveaways have been posted on 29 bogus FB pages that falsely affiliate themselves with Revillame’s game show Wowowin and its segments Tutok to Win and Shopee Shake.

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