Facebook competition for holiday to Cabo likely a scam

A Facebook post, commented on more than 344,000 times, offers social media users the chance to win a holiday for a family of four to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, if they comment “done” under the post. 

There are clear indications that this is a scam, and it is near-identical to a post we have recently checked about a competition for a holiday to Santorini, Greece.

The Facebook page, named Discover Cabo, San Lucas, has only one publicly-available post and no links to a website or other social media accounts associated with the purported business. The “about” section of the Facebook page also appears out-of-date, stating: “Come and discover Cabo, San Lucas with us in 2021.”

When a Facebook user comments on the post, the page often responds by telling them that they must “complete the validation process” by clicking a blue “sign-up” button at the top of the page. 

In this example, clicking the blue button leads to a page with the URL newsmartphoneoffer.com, offering the chance to “win a summer holiday” after entering personal information. 

On this page it claims the participant can win a summer holiday “worth £900”, rather than specifying the winners will receive a holiday for four to Cabo San Lucas for seven nights, as initially advertised.

Also, given this is expressed in pounds sterling, it appears the promotion is advertised to a British audience, and it’s implausible that £900 would be enough to send a British family of four to Cabo San Lucas for a week’s holiday. According to travel site Kayak, the cheapest time to travel from the UK to Cabo San Lucas is September, with flights and accommodation for three nights costing £504 for just two people. The same package in May would cost £859. 

The terms and conditions claim a prize of travel products or vouchers valued at €1000 is available, but also that the company running the competition retains the right to change or discontinue the giveaways at any time.  

Apparent scams such as these are very common on social media, and we have written about similar posts in the past. Fact checkers such as Snopes and Truth or Fiction, have investigated similar posts in the past and found them to be scams. 

It’s difficult to definitively say what the purpose of these types of scams is intended to be, but they could be intended to collect personal data in order to target people with spam adverts, or as a form of “like-farming”  where administrators of a Facebook page attempt to gather a large following in order to sell it later on.

For more information about how to protect yourself from fraud, visit the Take Five campaign led by UK Finance, or the Action Fraud website. 

Photo courtesy of John Cafazza, via Unsplash.

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WTF Fun Fact 12630 – Jack Ryan, Missile and Doll Engineer

Jack Ryan was a man of many talents, including weapon making and doll design. Click to read the full fact.

The post WTF Fun Fact 12630 – Jack Ryan, Missile and Doll Engineer appeared first on WTF Fun Facts.

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Was Rishi Sunak’s in-laws’ company a ‘beneficiary’ of a UK-India trade deal?

A post on Facebook claims that when the UK government did a £1 billion trade deal with India the main beneficiary was Infosys, the company “owned by Rishi Sunak’s wife and family”.

In May 2021, the government announced £1 billion of “new UK-India trade and investment” made by a number of British and Indian companies. This included the creation of more than 6,500 new jobs in the UK.

The government also announced an ‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ between the two countries, which essentially stated an intent to work towards a free trade agreement and reduced some non-tariff barriers.

While Infosys were announced as making one of the largest investments, creating 1,000 UK jobs, and enlisting BP to decarbonise the company’s 11 campuses in India, it’s odd to describe Infosys being a “beneficiary” of its own investment.

The term seems to imply that the company will indirectly benefit from a “trade deal” between the UK and India. What actually happened is simply that Infosys is spending its own money to invest in the UK.

The Enhanced Trade Partnership described addressing specific non-tariff barriers, though it’s hard to say which Indian and UK companies will be the largest beneficiaries. 

The UK government described barriers being lowered on the trade in fruit, medical devices, educational and legal services, none of which appear to directly benefit Infosys, a multinational IT and consulting firm.

Infosys was founded in India by Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law, N.R Narayana Murthy and Mr Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, is a significant shareholder in the company.

Following news that Ms Murty did not pay UK tax on her foreign earnings from the company, misinformation about Infosys has proliferated on social media. We’ve written before about false claims that the company is registered in Rwanda.

What is a non-dom?

The Facebook post also claims the Chancellor’s wife “lives in Downing Street whilst claiming to live abroad for Tax Purposes”. 

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty previously lived at Downing Street, but Ms Murty has reportedly moved to their home in West London, while Mr Sunak will split his time between the two.

While it’s correct Ms Murty is a non-domiciled resident (or “non-dom”) for tax purposes and lives in London, being treated as a non-dom for tax purposes does not mean you are claiming to live abroad, as the Facebook post claims. 

According to the UK government, being non-domiciled is for “UK residents who have their permanent home (“domicile”) outside the UK”. 

If someone is a non-dom, and their foreign income exceeds £2,000, they can choose whether to pay UK tax on that income, or claim the “remittance basis”. This means they only pay UK tax on the foreign income they bring to the UK. This is an active choice non-doms pay for. Ms Murty paid £30,000 per year to claim the remittance basis.

She has since told the BBC she would be paying UK tax on all her worldwide income, including dividends and capital gains. We’ve written more about her previous tax status here.

Picture courtesy of HM Treasury.

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Facebook post’s figures for the state pension and House of Lords allowance are broadly right

A widely shared post on Facebook includes a screenshot of a tweet from 3 April 2022 that compared the value of the full state pension with the attendance allowance for members of the House of Lords.

We frequently check claims about both these figures on social media—for example, comparing Universal Credit payments to the House of Lords daily allowance, or comparing the state pension to overseas pensions or payments to refugees. We often find the figures given are inaccurate or described misleadingly in some way. But on this occasion the figures and the way they are described are broadly accurate.

This doesn’t mean we’re giving any view on the statement at the end of the post which says “it’s really not hard to see where we’re going wrong”. This is a matter of opinion, which is beyond the scope of fact checking.

The post says: “Full state pension – £179.60 a week.” This was the correct figure for the 2021/22 financial year, when the tweet shown in the Facebook post was originally published. The correct figure in the new tax year that began on 6 April is £185.15. (Some pensioners don’t get the full amount though, while some on low incomes may also be eligible for other benefits.)

On the Lords, the post says: “House of Lords attendance allowance – £323 per day.” This is correct. Peers are eligible to claim this allowance for each day they attend the Lords and do parliamentary work.

When doing other types of official work away from the House, peers can only claim a “reduced allowance” of £162 per day. (They can also claim travel expenses.) Members of the Lords who have ministerial or office holders’ salaries cannot claim either allowance.

Lords’ allowances are not liable for income tax, whereas state pension payments can be.

Image courtesy of UK government

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Overturned cars in Ukraine were likely flipped by Russian forces, not explosion

Warning: many of the articles and posts linked to below include extremely graphic images.

A number of posts on Facebook show an image from Ukraine of a soldier and some children walking past upturned cars, and a building in the background with intact windows and little visible damage. 

All these posts have the caption: “I would like to place an order for these high quality super tough windows from the Ukraine, that remained intact and unmarked after the explosion of a Russian bomb that turned over all of these cars. Please throw in also some of that same render as on the house, that remained undamaged and clean after the explosion.”One post has an additional caption which says: “Looks like staged [sic]”.

These posts lack context, as it’s likely the cars were not overturned in an explosion, but were instead upended by Russian forces for a variety of reasons. 

The photo is genuine

The picture in question was taken by Rodrigo Abd for the Associated Press. The caption alongside it says: “A Ukrainian soldier walks with children passing destroyed cars due to the war against Russia, in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 4, 2022. Local authorities told The Associated Press that at least 16 children were among the hundreds of people killed in Bucha.”

Nowhere in the caption does the photographer claim an explosion took place.

We do know that there was heavy fighting in Bucha for weeks while Russian forces occupied the town and that despite Russian claims to the contrary, evidence shows civilians in the town were tortured and killed.

The cars were likely flipped manually by Russian forces, not an explosion 

Greek fact checker Ellinika Hoaxes spoke to a photographer for the Wall Street Journal who told them citizens in Bucha had said the Russians overturned cars with tanks. This may have been to stop people escaping, to make way for larger vehicles, or to create roadblocks.

Ellinika Hoaxes also spoke to a local resident in Bucha who took photos and videos of the same area that is pictured on Facebook throughout the occupation, and told them the Russians appeared to overturn cars in order to hide military equipment. 

Other photos of the town in the aftermath also show upturned cars in front of damaged buildings.

All evidence points to Russian forces committing atrocities in Bucha

Despite Russian claims that footage of Bucha has been faked, evidence from drones, satellite images, photos taken in the aftermath and first person accounts shows that Russian forces did occupy the town when Ukrainian officials said they had, and bodies of civilians appeared on the streets while they were there, not afterwards when Ukrainian forces secured the town.

Image courtesy of Oleksandr Ratushniak.

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Apparent Facebook scam offers Santorini holiday to commenters

A post on Facebook, shared over 8,000 times, offers people the chance to win a week-long holiday in Santorini, Greece, if they comment the word “done” under the post. 

There are several indicators that this claim is too good to be true. 

The Facebook page, named Santorini Travel, only has one post, no links to a website, and no evidence of a business operating as a travel operator. There is a company based in Greece with the same name, but there is no indication that the Facebook page is linked with them and they do not share a logo. Full Fact approached this company for comment, but did not receive a response. 

When an individual comments on the post, the page often responds by telling them that they must “complete the validation process” by clicking a blue “sign-up” button at the top of the page. 

In this example, clicking the blue button leads to a page with the URL newsmartphoneoffer.com, offering the chance to win a holiday worth £900 rather than a trip for four to Santorini as initially advertised. 

The terms and conditions claim a prize of travel products or vouchers valued at €1000 is available, but also that the company running the competition retains the right to change or discontinue the giveaways at any time.  

We have seen, and written about, very similar posts in the past. New examples of posts falsely promising the chance to win luxurious holidays frequently appear on social media—with some even using near-identical language.

Other fact checkers, such as Snopes and Truth or Fiction, have investigated similar posts in the past and found them to be scams. 

It’s often difficult to say for sure what the purpose of these types of scams is intended to be, but they could be intended to collect personal data in order to target people with spam adverts, or as a form of “like-farming”  where administrators of a Facebook page attempt to gather a large following in order to sell it later on.

For more information about how to protect yourself from fraud, visit the Take Five campaign led by UK Finance, or the Action Fraud website.

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Clip of French TV shows technical glitch, not election fraud

A post on Facebook claims that an inconsistency in vote numbers broadcast on TV during the French presidential election is evidence of “electronic fraud”. 

The post itself is the screenshot of a tweet, which includes a short clip of a broadcast from French news channel France 2 during the second round of voting in the French election on April 24, apparently showing eventual winner Emmanuel Macron receiving fewer votes than opposition candidate Marine Le Pen while votes were being counted. 

The France 2 clip shows Ms Le Pen with 14,432,396 votes—1.14 million more than she had actually received by the end of the count. As other fact checkers have also written, this then prompted widespread claims of electoral fraud. 

In fact, the apparent inconsistency in numbers was caused by a technical glitch. In a statement published to Twitter the following day, a spokesperson for France 2 said the software that allowed the live results to appear on screen had malfunctioned at 9.10pm, meaning the results for some municipalities were counted twice for both candidates. 

They added that the error had been noticed almost immediately, and subsequently corrected. 

The French government’s interior ministry updated the results as they were announced live on Sunday evening. Archived versions of the page, collected via Wayback Machine, show that the number of votes for Ms Le Pen never reached the 14.4 million erroneously shown by France 2. 

Image courtesy of Rémi Noyon, via Flickr.

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How to Use Social Media For Networking And Career Advancement

We live in a world that’s interconnected and always online, thanks to the Internet and the creation of social media. Billions of people log into a variety of social media platforms to read posts, connect with family and friends, and get inspired by amazing thought-leadership content. Social media is an integral part of our everyday lives and will be for a long time.

Social media is more than funny memes and cat videos—it’s the place where the world comes together to experience life. Social media offers an astonishing amount of practical uses for life, business, career goals, and personal growth. The key is learning how to leverage each social media platform for professional networking and career advancement.

How Can Social Media Help in Professional Networking?

Social media is an excellent place for growth-focused leaders to network and advance their careers.

Forward-thinking leaders see an opportunity to leverage the interconnected social media platforms for the purposes of learning, adding value, demonstrating thought-leadership, and strategically networking with other entrepreneurial-minded leaders.

The world is experiencing a great reset. Employees are deciding how they want to work, and they want work and careers that fulfill them. They want more from their jobs. Companies are having to adjust to the reality of workers having many options in this current workplace landscape.

The Great Registration has created an opportunity for leaders to secure a nice raise, leverage their value for a life-changing promotion, or, for some, land their dream career. It’s an exciting time to use social media for more than pleasure.

Here are the ways that social media can help in the professional networking process. Here’s how to leverage social media for career advancement, personal growth, and achieving your financial goals.

1. Learn More About Your Career

One of the best ways to get better at your craft is to study every aspect of it. The beauty of social media is that it gives you the opportunity to learn from others who are doing what you do in your career.

You can study other leaders on social media and see how they add value. You can review the work that they’re doing and learn new aspects of your career that you may not have considered in the past. You can study companies and industries and use that information to become better at what you do in your career in every single way.

Social media offers the unprecedented opportunity to learn about your career and study leadership development in a fun and entertaining way. LinkedIn is an excellent social media network to learn about your career and study real-life leadership. You can also watch some great YouTube videos about your industry and even funny TikTok videos about leadership can teach you.

Use hashtags to your advantage on social media. Study the hashtags that align with your career. When you search those hashtags on social media, look at what is being said and absorb the information for your planning purposes.

Hashtags can be a great way to stay on top of what’s going on in your industry and learn more about your career through social media. Hashtags can also lead to conversations with other leaders and maybe even decision-makers.

One of the most effective social media strategies is focusing on precisely what you need to network and advance your career through leveraging social media.

2. Network and Mastermind With Leaders

Social media offers leaders the opportunity to mastermind and network with other leaders. Modern communication happens through groups, pages, and even timelines. Everyone has some social media platforms downloaded onto their phones. That’s why socials are a great place to connect with leaders and network for career advancement instantly.

The challenge is understanding which social media opportunities are worth your time and will lead to great networking. The best thing you can do is take some time to get clarity on your goals and then figure out which social media outlets offer you the opportunity to work towards those career advancement goals.

Your goal is to be involved in the platforms where other growth-focused leaders network and mastermind with each other. They always say the person in the room is the one that gets the sale. Being involved in the right social communities is the equivalent of being in the room. You should want to be where those conversations are happening.

As you spend more time on the social media networks that make sense for your career goals, tune out the noise of the Internet. Your goal with social media consumption is to have focused time.

You don’t want to get on social media and get lost in the distraction and all the noise. And if it feels like the conversations you’re having with certain leaders are a waste of your time, politely hold your boundaries and move on quickly. Your time is too valuable.

Social media offers you the opportunity to connect with even some of the highest-level leaders. It’s not uncommon to tweet to leaders at a company that you respect and get a response.

Other networks like Facebook might be harder to get that kind of interaction, so the goal is to leverage the networks that make sense for your career goals. You want the social media networks that are likely to help you network and advance in your career.

3. Increase Your Value

One of the best ways to advance a career is through leveraging thought leadership content on social media. You are passionate about your topic and what your profession is around, which can be great content that you post on social media for consumers.

As you post excellent thought leadership content on social media, you’ll build an audience. That growing audience of people that are paying attention to you is an asset you can use in salary negotiations or for a better job. Attention in the digital information age is a valuable currency.

You may not feel like an eloquent writer or podcaster or some great YouTuber, but the good news is that you don’t have to be. One of the best ways to connect with consumers and build an audience is through the use of authentic experience-based content. Share what you’re feeling and going through, and others who are going through the same will self-identify.

Be consistent in showing up on social media and stay consistent with posting thoughts about what you do in your career. You’ll be surprised by who will see that content and how that could lead to fantastic opportunities for networking and career advancement.

Some people talk about knowing a thing, and then there are others who demonstrate it. Thought leadership content offers you the opportunity to demonstrate that you are a leader and know what you’re talking about regarding what you do in your career.

One of the best ways to land your dream job or get a raise is to demonstrate your knowledge through thought leadership content on social media. Content on social media is one of the most underutilized strategies for career advancement and networking.

4. Find Your Dream Career

There are now many opportunities to see jobs and apply for them on social media platforms. The world is shifting to include more of our everyday life aspects on social media. You can use social media to find your dream career.

Now, you can apply for a job directly through LinkedIn, or it could be you learning more about your dream career through social media. You have the opportunity to study industries and learn from leaders in your dream career. You can use social media to leverage effective leadership styles.

As you provide thought leadership content and build your audience—as you network with other growth-focused leaders—you can then have the opportunity to be in a position to apply for or be offered your dream job. The critical thing to remember is that presence is power.

With clarity of what your dream career is, do some research into the groups and social media networks that align with that goal. Spend time in those social media communities and add value.

You are going to be in the best position to secure your dream career if you are leveraging social media as a part of your growth strategy.

Final Thoughts

We’re living through an exciting time. We could connect with anybody all over the world through social media platforms. Each social media platform has the ability to use audio, written, and video communication options. Social media is a valuable asset and networking tool for career advancement.

There are leaders whose entire lives have changed as a result of social media. They’ve learned how to use social media to network and advance their career by being strategic about how they spend time on social media. There’s a lot we can learn from these leaders’ examples.

There are millions of open jobs, and there are companies that are paying a lot more money to retain good people. The growth-focused leader sees the opportunity and uses social media to create financial freedom and security.

Featured photo credit: Timothy Hales Bennett via unsplash.com

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