Philippine oil giant Petron warns against hoax cash giveaway
The Philippines' largest oil refiner Petron has rebuked a fake promotion shared on Facebook which claimed the company was handing out cash to celebrate its 90th anniversary. The hoax, which surfaced after the government announced fuel subsidies, shared the firm's logo and a screenshot from a bogus website.
"Petron Corporation 90th Anniversary Government Subsidy," reads a Facebook post shared on March 3.
It features the logo of Philippines oil giant Petron and invites social media users to claim a 7,000-peso ($130) prize through a website "pf7bg.cn".
The post was shared a day after the Philippine budget department announced four billion pesos ($73 million) in fuel subsidies for transport workers and farmers aimed to "cushion the impact of high oil prices".
However, the government announcement does not make any reference to Petron.
It said three billion pesos in fuel vouchers would be allocated to drivers of public utility vehicles, with the rest divvied up between more than 312,000 farmers and fisherfolk.
Similar Facebook posts promoted the bogus cash handout, including here, here, here and here.
Some posts asked Facebook users to input their home addresses to complete a registration process, with others encouraging them to share a link to a survey about Petron to up to 20 people.
Some social media users appeared to believe the posts showed a genuine Petron giveaway.
"This was my first time joining and I thought Petron Corporation was true to its word when publishing promotions," one commented.
"Please like and share this," another wrote.
Petron spokeswoman Kristine Palaganas said the posts did not show a promotion from the company.
"We don't have any ongoing promos or offers in line with our 90th anniversary," she told AFP on March 12.
The oil giant warned consumers to "be vigilant against online scammers" in a statement debunking the scam, which said the firm's official website was petron.com.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the bogus website shared online (left) and Petron's website (right):
Petron reminded the public not to disclose personal information to "anonymous and unofficial websites or messages you receive online or via email".
AFP has not found any trace of the purported cash handout on Petron's verified Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.