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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Fake blog site lures internet users with offer of cash help

A blog site by the name of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is urging netizens to sign up in exchange for cash assistance that will be channeled through a popular money transfer service. It’s wrong.

10K AYUDA IPAPADALA SA PALAWAN NGAYONG ARAW MAG PA REGISTER NA (Financial aid worth 10,000 P to be sent via Palawan Express today, register now), ”reads the Blogspot DSWD NEWS AND UPDATE website published on September 30 but continued to fool Internet users a week after its first appearance.

In its attempt to scam, the blog urged people to write their contact details in the comments section. To date, 22 internet users have shared their phone numbers and addresses.

Palawan Express has also featured in a few articles involving non-existent cash assistance this year and has warned the public about online fraud using its name. Previous posts involving cash rebates labeling the money transfer service have been verified by VERA Files and found to be falsified.

(See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Palawan Express cash gifts FAKE; VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Palawan Pawnshop, Lucio Tan cashaway BOGUS)

Asked about the last mention of Palawan in cash assistance, Karen Mae Zanduete, digital marketing manager of Palawan Pawnshop Group, told VERA Files: “We cannot comment on posts that are not on our social media accounts and our official website.

And on its Facebook page, the company warned its customers: Palawan Pawnshop is not connected to any online cash or ayuda.

During the first months of the pandemic and a lockdown was imposed, DSWD provided cash assistance to qualified beneficiaries and those who signed up through the ReliefKaya mobile app were given the option of receiving cash assistance through Palawan. Express. This is no longer the case.

Recipients of the department’s 2020 grant program were eligible to receive P 5,000-8,000 per family according to a joint circular memorandum.

DSWD NEWS AND UPDATE also contains fraudulent messages about other types of “ayuda”. It is operated by Blogspot user “AXIE”, who also created the NEWS AND UPDATE website featuring Axie Infinity mobile game scams.

Facebook page (FB) DSWD registration and FB group DSWD UPDATE, which were previously labeled as fake, created posts on October 1 containing links to the fictitious giveaway. The captions of these posts urged people to “subscribe” using the link and “share” the post.

FB Page and FB Group backed the claim about sending P 10,000 worth of cash assistance via Palawan Express by carrying photos of the branches of the Money Transfer Center in Mexico City , Pampanga in 2018 and in the city of Davao in 2019.

The fake post garnered nearly 2,600 reactions, 2,000 comments and 700 shares on FB. It emerged a day after the DSWD admitted there was no money in next year’s budget allocated to its social improvement program.

VERA Files Fact Check previously debunked a similar scheme involving a fake website and impostor DSWD accounts on FB. (See: VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post on Duterte’s P10K Cash Aid to FAKE Mothers)

DSWD UPDATE, previously named Update DSWD 2nd and 3rd Tranche of SAP 4ps and DSWD PHILIPPINES, was created in September 2020. DSWD Registration, meanwhile emerged in May 2021.

(Editor’s note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Read more about it Partnership and our methodology.)

Have you seen any questionable claims, photos, memes or online posts that you want us to check out? Send us a message here Where here.

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