VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post about ‘MOA aircon sale’ crowd FALSELY used images of  malls in Vietnam

A Facebook (FB) page claimed that people fainted at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) while lining up to buy a heavily-discounted Japanese air conditioner. This is fake. The post used two photos of Vietnamese malls. 

FB page Maria Jhennylyn posted on Sept. 9 a photo of a woman who fainted amidst a crowded mall in Vietnam. It appeared the same day as the 9.9 sale of e-commerce sites Shopee and Lazada in the Philippines. Its caption read:

Hindi pa nangyayari dati ang horror scene na ito sa Mall Of Asia. Marami na ang nawalan ng malay habang nakapila para bumili nitong Japanese air conditioner (This horror scene has not happened before at SM Mall of Asia. A lot of people lost consciousness while lining up to buy this Japanese air conditioner).”

Reverse image search shows that the original image came from an Oct. 28, 2016 concert of Vietnamese pop star Noo Phuoc Thinh at AEON mall in Long Bien district, Hanoi. Local news organizations reported that the woman fainted because the mall was too crowded. 

VERA Files Fact Check has debunked a post with a similar claim. (READ: 2016 photos in Vietnam mall FALSELY shown as ‘MOA aircon sale’ crowd)

The post, which got over 4,100 interactions, also used another image to falsely claim that a store in Manila attracted a crowd when it launched a grand opening sale and sold air conditioners for 50% of the price. But the photo it used showed a crowd at the AEON Tan Phu Celadon mall in Ho Chi Minh. It was an old photo posted on March 4, 2018.

Maria Jhennylyn’s post provided a bogus website where netizens can allegedly buy air conditioners. Instead, the website asked for netizens’ personal information.

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