Clickbait post uses fake free internet data to lure Facebook followers in Ethiopia

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A Facebook post in Ethiopia has lured online users with a bogus offer for free internet data, allegedly promoted by the mobile company Ethio telecom. The claim contains a link that allegedly leads to Ethio telecom’s website. But AFP Fact Check found this to be incorrect: the URL leads to a broken cryptocurrency site, while the screenshot describing the alleged giveaway is from a fake account.

The message was published on facebook on June 20, 2022, and has since been shared more than 100 times.

Screenshot of the fake post, taken on June 23, 2022

Written in Afaan Oromoo, the caption translates to: “Congratulations, you can get free 30-day Facebook data here. Follow the next steps and access the free data. Click on the link below, log in to your Facebook account and use the free service.”

The post includes a screenshot alleged to be from Ethio telecom, asking Facebook users to enter their “correct password and phone number” to log in and get the free data.

The caption in the screenshot reads: “We’re offering free Facebook Internet for a month. Reply to the post with the word ‘free’ and divide this post into ten groups to get the data”.

However, the claim is false.

Clickbait Message

AFP Fact Check found that the link does not send Facebook users to a portal that provides free data.

Instead, it leads them to a cryptocurrency website with a broken URL. Meanwhile, the screenshot appears to be from one of a number of accounts posing as the official page of Ethio telecom.

AFP Fact Check found several Facebook accounts called “Ethio Tele” with the logo of Ethio telecom (herehere and here† While they didn’t have this exact message, there were other similar fake deals.

The promotion is also not on any of Ethio telecom’s official social media pages (here and here) or on his website

In addition, the company’s name is not abbreviated to “Ethio Tele” as shown in the screenshot.

the legitimate one Ethiopian telecom Facebook page has been verified with a blue check mark and has over a million followers.

Screenshot of the verified Ethio telecom Facebook page

Ethio telecom confirmed that no such promotion existed.

“Ethio telecom is not currently doing such a promotion. The screenshot is from a fake page. We have issued warnings in the past to warn our customers about online fraudsters,” the company told AFP Fact Check.

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