People Are Falling for Those Viral ‘Win a Free Trip to the Maldives’ Social Media Posts
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.