People Are Falling for Those Viral 'Win a Free Trip to the Maldives' Social Media Posts
As TPG's resident social media manager, I spend a lot of my time on the Internet for work — an Internet explorer, if you will. And it's come to my attention that we have a little bit of a social situation on our hands.
I'm talking about those "WIN A TRIP TO *INSERT BEAUTIFUL EXOTIC LOCATION HERE*" posts that everyone and their mother seems to be sharing these days. You know the ones: They feature insanely blue water, beaches for days, and plenty of overwater bungalows, whether it's in Bora Bora or the Maldives. They look absolutely perfect, except for the fact that they're not real. Hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but someone's gotta do it.
Let's use this post that my lovely aunt shared as an example:
Now, I can't say I blame her at all for wanting to win a getaway to Bora Bora. I mean, just look at that water! But let's take a closer look at the page that is promoting it — aptly named "Vacation."
A good indication that it's as fake as a Chanel bag from Canal Street is the fact that it's not verified and is literally just titled "Vacation." Last time I checked, there's no such reputable company that's called "Vacation," but hey, what do I know? I just work here.
The "About" section is even worse. "Vacation" provides no actual information as to what they do, who they are, or where they are. Nada. Zilch. It does let you send them a message, though, but I'm willing to bet they're not really the most responsive Facebook page in the game.
Another dead giveaway that it's fake is in the, well, giveaway itself. There's no mention of what hotel the stay will be at. Is it the St. Regis? What airline are they giving you flights on? When would you have to fly? There also aren't any official terms and conditions, which is a big no-no for any giveaway in the history of the Internet.
If you really have a good eye, you'll also notice that they said "Unfortunately, the winner of the big draw (Patricia Simons) was from Canada and not USA as was required and unable to claim their prize." Virtually every single one of these "giveaways" says something like this. And as we just talked about before, where are the official terms and conditions anyway that say you have to be from the US? Like I said, methinks we have a bit of a social situation here.
So next time you (or someone you know) thinks they're about to head to the airport and to island paradise, maybe don't start packing just yet. And if you want a free trip to the Maldives, we do know a site that might be able to help.