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HOAX: This website purporting to be Shell and offering prizes is a scam

The website is not the legitimate website of the oil and gas company and asks for personal information to claim the gift.

Syndicated story by PesaCheck.

website purporting to be Shell company and promising amazing weekly prizes is a HOAX.

The web link directs to a page containing a message announcing that the British-Dutch multinational oil and gas company is celebrating its 130th anniversary.

The message also informs users that they have been chosen to participate in a minute-long survey to receive a ‘fantastic prize.’

“Each week we randomly choose 100 users to give them a chance to win amazing prizes. $ 3000! There will be 100 lucky winners,” reads part of the message.

Adding, “ This survey aims to improve the quality of service for our users and your participation will be rewarded 100%. You only have 3 minutes and 24 seconds to answer this survey! Hurry up, the number of prizes available is limited!” .

Survey questions include whether the user knows Shell, their age, gender, and opinion about the company.

After filling out the questionnaire, the user is congratulated and informed that their answers have been ‘saved successfully’. Users are further instructed to select the ‘correct box’ among the ones provided to determine if they have won a gift.

“You have 3 attempts. Good luck!” adds the message.

Once the users choose the ‘correct’ box as instructed, a message congratulates them for winning Ksh 9,000. However, to redeem the prize, users are instructed to send information about the promotion to five groups, or 20 friends, indicate their address to complete registration, and wait for the gift to be delivered within five to seven days.

Accepting the instructions leads to another page guiding participants on how to share the information as required. The first step involves clicking on the ‘WhatsApp’ icon, to share the information with five groups or 20 friends.

The second step involves clicking on the ‘continue’ button to claim the prize. This sequence mirrors many phishing scams that are modelled as promotional giveaways with the purpose of mining personal information.

The post wrongly says that Shell is giving out the prizes as it celebrates its 130th anniversary even though it is 114 years old.

Similarly, there is no information about the giveaway on the legitimate Shell website or its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The domain name of the website in question is radiantgirl.xyz, which is not the legitimate domain of the Shell website, shell.com.

The WHOIS information of the impostor website reveals it was registered on 9 May 2021. The domain is also registered in the US state of North Carolina.

On the other hand, the WHOIS information of the legitimate Shell website shows that it was registered on 15 July 1989, in London and that the domain is owned by the oil and gas company.

In a Facebook post on 23 August 2021 and through an alert posted on its website, Shell disowned the promotion and asked the public to ignore it.

“This is not an existing promotion and is being circulated for clickbait! Don’t click on the link or forward it to others. Protect your data and stay safe!” read the post.

Vivo Energy Kenya, the company that distributes and markets Shell-branded products, also posted on Facebook, dismissing the promotion.

PesaCheck has looked into the website impersonating Shell and promising giveaways in its name and finds it to be a HOAX.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck fact-checker Simon Muli and edited by PesaCheck Chief Copy Editor Rose Lukalo.

The article was approved for publication by Managing Editor Enock Nyariki.

PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water / sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watchdog organisations.

Kamadi Amata
Kamadi Amatahttps://mtaaniradio.or.ke
I am a digital content creator with niche in Health, politics, and Human Interest Features.

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