A post on Facebook, shared over 5,000 times in under 24 hours, claims that social media users who share and comment on it could be in with a chance of winning a free caravan.
Alongside a number of pictures of the caravan, the 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 then commented by May 31st at 5pm. Delivery should be within 2 weeks [sic].”
But this is not a real giveaway. Full Fact found that the pictures were taken from a website run by a caravan dealership in Cumbria called Adventure Leisure Rentals, and a spokesperson for the company told us they had no association with the giveaway run by a Facebook page called Happy Campers.
Rick Parker, digital marketing manager at Adventure Leisure Rentals, told us that he had personally taken the pictures at a product reveal and had previously reported similarly fake giveaways using his images to Facebook.
There are several other indications that the giveaway might not be genuine. Firstly, the text is near-identical to other posts we have checked in the past, indicating that the authors of the posts may simply be copying and pasting previous content.
Secondly, while the post claims that social media users simply have to share and comment, a number of comments have been replied to by the Happy Campers Facebook page directing them to a “winners” page.
This page then encourages people to like and comment on a second post, directs them to “register” on a third party site and then asks them to post proof of their registration in the comments.
In response to some of these comments, the Happy Campers page then says: “Our team is having trouble sending prizes to you maybe you haven't taken the survey on the link, make sure you register correctly [sic].” This is a common indication that the giveaway isn’t real, and we have written about posts making similar requests from social media users a number of times in the past.
Thirdly, there are a number of spelling and grammatical errors in the posts themselves, which can be an indication that they have not been shared by a legitimate source such as an official brand account.
Posts like these advertising fake giveaways, often in the form of free meals at popular chain restaurants such as Harvester or Greggs or cheap deals for items such as air fryers or electric scooters at retailers such as Argos, are extremely common and we have fact checked them many times before.
Misleading images are some of the most common kinds of misinformation we see online, but they can sometimes be hard to spot. It’s always worth checking if a picture shows what the post says it does before you share it—we have written a guide on how to do so here.