This ‘cellphone giveaway’ is a scam, Samsung Indonesia says

Copyright AFP 2017-2020. All rights reserved.

Multiple Facebook posts shared thousands of times in August 2020 claim to advertise a cellphone giveaway coordinated by Samsung Indonesia. The claim is false; Samsung Indonesia said the posts are a "scam", adding that it does not operate the Facebook page that first shared the purported offer.

This Facebook post published on August 21, 2020 claims Samsung is giving away free smartphones. It has been shared more than 5,000 times.

The announcement was posted by a Facebook page called Samsung.id, which has a Samsung logo as its profile picture. The photo contains an image of smartphones.

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on August 31, 2020

The post’s Indonesian-language caption translates to English as: “We want to help students who need a smartphone to study during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The first 5,000 people in this group who write the word ‘SAMSUNG’ letter by letter without being interrupted by other competitors will receive IPHONE MOBILE PHONES.

“GET A MOBILE CELLPHONE FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND YOUR CHILDREN.

“Take a look at the example below:
SAMSUNG

“ATTENTION: This reward is for those who haven’t won any of our giveways before, if you have previously won a SAMSUNG PHONE please stay away, give the chance to other people to win.”

Millions of Indonesian students, especially those in rural areas, are struggling with online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, lacking Internet connections, smartphones or other electronic devices, as reported by Singapore-based newspaper The Straits Times here.

A similar claim was shared more than 500 times after being published here and here on Facebook.

The claim is false; Samsung Indonesia said that the purported announcement is a “scam” and that it does not operate the Facebook page samsung.id.

“The account does not belong to Samsung. So we can be sure that the giveaway announcement is fake or it is a scam,” Samsung told AFP in a message from its verified Facebook account @SamsungIndonesia on August 28, 2020. 

“Samsung only operates one official Facebook page namely: Samsung. The account is verified and it can be recognised with its blue [tick],” the company added.

The profile picture used in the Facebook page that shared the misleading post differs from differs from the official Samsung logo on Samsung Indonesia’s Facebook page.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the Facebook page that shared the misleading post (L) and Samsung Indonesia’s Facebook page (R): 

Screenshot comparison of the Facebook page that shares the misleading post (L) and Samsung Indonesia’s Facebook page (R)