A breath alcohol ignition interlock device is seen next to the wheel of a vehicle in this illustration image taken during a holiday campaign against drunk and drugged driving in 2013 in Washington, DC ( AFP / Paul J. Richards)

Facebook post misleads with cash offer for no DUIs

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A Facebook post viewed hundreds of thousands of times claims to offer money to US citizens who have no record of driving under the influence for the last three years. But the offer linked to a website asking for personal information to obtain an auto insurance quote, and the US federal traffic safety agency said it was not aware of such a cash rebate program for safe driving.

"Enter Your Zip Code To See What You Get Back. US Citizens with no DUIs in last 3 years are getting $610 back if they sign up before the deadline ends. HURRY," claims a December 1, 2021 Facebook post that includes a video of people celebrating next to an image of US President Joe Biden signing documents. 

A screenshot of a Facebook post taken on December 23, 2021

The post initially included a link sending Facebook users to a page offering auto insurance that indicated that the $610 was a potential discount for safe driving, not a direct cash handout. The link has since been removed, but the website -- still active as of December 23 -- asks for personal information including a person's zip code and age range. 

Text at the bottom of the page included a disclaimer saying: "This is an advertorial and not an actual news article, blog, or consumer protection update... By proceeding forward you automatically agree to our terms and conditions."

Alex Hageli, director of personal auto and electronic issues, specialty lines and counsel for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), warned: "Consumers should be alert to potential scams, and as the adage says, 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.'"  

Hageli said that the APCIA "is unaware of any state programs offering people checks for not having any DUIs."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a federal agency that is part of the US Department of Transportation, also said that it is not aware of a refund program for those who avoid driving under the influence. A DUI in the US can result in penalties from a fine to jail time.

The images used in the post are also unrelated to the claim. 

A Google reverse image search showed that the photo of Biden used in the post was taken on January 20 by Doug Mills, a photographer for The New York Times, and it can be seen in full here.

At the time the photo was taken, Biden was signing a series of executive orders, including a decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord.

The video footage is similarly unrelated. It is a clip of a family celebrating their daughter's college acceptance that was later turned into a popular meme.

AFP Fact Check has previously debunked  scams and hoax posts offering money or giveaways on Facebook.