A post on Facebook, shared more than 130,000 times, claims that social media users who share and comment on it could win a free camper van.
Alongside several pictures of a van, the full post says: “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 Sharred [sic] then commented by Jan 11th at 5pm. Delivery should be within 2 weeks.”
But this van is not actually part of a giveaway. The vehicle in question is currently on sale by a company with no affiliation to the ‘Happy Campers’ Facebook page behind the post.
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Van pictured isn’t part of a giveaway
Using reverse-image searching, Full Fact traced the first picture of the motorhome to a web page listing the vehicle for hire in 2017.
We contacted Luna Motorhome Hire—the company that placed the listing—and were told 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 this motorhome, and has listed it for sale, adding: “This is the first we have heard of the giveaway and are no way linked to Happy Campers.”
There are several other indications that the giveaway advertised in the post might not be as it appears. 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. Thanks and Good Luck.”
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.