A Facebook post which claimed that social media users who share and comment on it could win a free Swift motorhome has been found to be fake.
The post by the Happy Campers Facebook page, which was shared more than 130,000 times and now appears to have been taken down, showed several pictures of the motorhome which was said to be ‘up for grabs’.
However, an investigation by Full Fact found that the pictured motorhome was not part of a giveaway.
The full Facebook post read: “Due to having a few small dents and scratches we have been unable to sell this in our showroom, rather than flog it as second hand we have decided to bring some joy by giving it to someone who has shared then commented by Jan 11th at 5pm. Delivery should be within 2 weeks.”
Using reverse-image searching, Full Fact traced the first picture of the motorhome to an online hire listing from 2017.
Luna Motorhome Hire, the company that placed the listing, said that while they had taken the picture, they had since sold the vehicle to another business, DG Motorhomes, which sells new and used motorhomes.
A spokesperson for DG Motorhomes confirmed that it does currently own the motorhome, adding: “This is the first we have heard of the giveaway and are no way linked to Happy Campers.”
Full Fact say there were indications in the post that the giveaway may not be as it appears.
In a statement, Full Fact said: “Firstly, the ‘Happy Campers’ page behind the post has replied to many of the comments with the same message, which reads ‘Your entry is almost complete! You still need to complete the validation process first… To do this simply click the blue Sign Up button located at the top of our page.’
“This goes beyond what is asked of social media users in the instructions of the post itself, and the ‘sign up’ button then directs people to a webpage encouraging people to enter personal details such as their full name and date of birth.
“Once they do so, further details including home address and mobile phone number are also requested.
“This follows a very similar model to seemingly fake giveaway posts we’ve investigated in the past, where social media users are encouraged to submit extensive personal information before being allowed to enter a competition or giveaway, contrary to the simple instructions initially given in a Facebook post.
“Other indications that the camper van giveaway may not be genuine include the misspelling of words in the social media post—something we’ve noticed in a number of similar posts—and the fact the ‘Happy Campers’ page does not appear to be affiliated with a specific business.
“Finally, near-identical wording has previously been used in other posts made by other pages on social media—some with the same pictures.”