Fake consumer news has been circulating on social media in recent weeks.
People in the Mid-South have shared coupons and product recalls and had no idea they were hoaxes.
A $250 Kroger coupon made its rounds on Facebook. Thousands of people shared the voucher without verifying it.
The grocery store chain posted on Facebook about the coupon hoax, confirming the coupon was fake.
Another company targeted was Bush’s baked beans.
False rumors spread of a product recall in all 50 states. Bush’s also took to Facebook to address the false information.
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FOX13 spoke with Taylor Jolley, an account specialist at Obsidian Public Relations, who offered some tips for people to verify consumer news on Facebook.
“As a consumer, you need to be really diligent when you’re looking at content, especially on social media,” said Jolley. “And when you’re looking at retailers you need to be cautious. So, there are couple things that you can do to make sure that a post is legitimate.”
Here are some tips Jolley gave to ensure there is no hoax:
- Make sure that the account who’s posting the coupon or story has the blue check next to it. That means they are verified.
- A lot of the coupons or stories will have a link in the bottom, and in that link on Facebook, it gives you the URL. If the URL doesn’t take you to the website for the company that the post is coming from, that’s likely scam.
- If the coupon seems too good to be true, and does not have any limitations – for example, if it doesn’t say what items are excluded or included in the coupon – that likely means it’s fake. Any coupon is going to have those limitations.
WHAT DO THESE ACCOUNTS GET BY YOUR LIKE AND SHARES?
Personal Information: If you enter any private information, that could be somebody who at best is just trying to fill your inbox with spam, but at worst could be trying to steal your data. When you share that post, you are exposing all your Facebook friends to the same kind of crime.
Like Farms: Essentially what they’re trying to do is build up the number of likes on the page, so that they can then sell posts on their page for advertising revenue. Or they can sell the page to a business who’s looking to buy a page that already has a ton of likes on it.
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