Online “stimulus loan” offers are not tied to government programs

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Three stimulus payments have been sent to Americans to ease the economic impact of the pandemic. Social media posts are now sharing a false claim about a new $40,000 federal stimulus loan. But it’s a marketing ploy. The bottom of the webpage says, “This is not a government program or government assistance, this is an infomercial for a loan service.”


Whole story

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government sent three payments to eligible individuals.

To continue providing relief, 16 states will send or cause to be sent payments to eligible taxpayers – although these payments are more targeted and most offer significantly lower dollar amounts.

However, some messages on social networks falsely claiming that a new stimulus loan provided by President Joe Biden would provide eligible Americans “up to $40,000”.

But these online loan offers are not from the federal government or tied to any government program.

A Facebook post share July 26 included a link to a fake article with the fake headline, “Biden New Stimulus Loans Up to $40,000 to Help Americans Pay Bills, Rent, Start Businesses or Make Major Purchases.”

The link in the Facebook post leads to a Web page on foramericanlife.com which invites readers to see if they are eligible for the “2022 recovery loan”.

“Millions of Americans are now rushing to apply before funding runs out and the big banks are terrified!” the wrong article reads.

Another one Facebook post shared a link to the same deception item with a similar headline and a different photo of Biden who falsely advertises a “new Biden initiative” that gives Americans “stimulus loans of up to $40,000.” The link redirects to another website, greatamericancenter.com.

But at the bottom of both pages it says, “This is not a government program or government assistance, this is an infomercial for a loan service.”

And when you click the “Get a stimulus loan 2022” button at the bottom of the stories, both websites redirect readers to redarrowloans.com, a website that claims to provide loans and credit products.

The posts are part of a trend we’ve seen of posts that mimic news articles or use fake celebrity endorsements to attract new customers.

In February, we wrote about an article that shared an old video of a White House official spreading false claims about stimulus checks earlier this year. (To learn more, see our article “Social media posts use old video of White House official to make false claims about stimulus checks.”). Another post shared a website posing as a CNN article to promote the sale of cannabidiol gummies, an edible form of a chemical found in marijuana. (For more, see our January article “Fake article falsely links Dr. Sanjay Gupta to CBD products. »

Editor’s Note: FactCheck.org is one of many organizations work with facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control on our editorial content.

Sources

Jones, Brea. “Fake article falsely links Dr. Sanjay Gupta to CBD products.” FactCheck.org. January 19, 2022.

Jones, Brea. “Social media posts are using an old video of a White House official to make false claims about stimulus checks.» FactCheck.org. February 3, 2022.

Lever, Rob. “Messages wrongly offer ‘Biden stimulus loans’.'” AFP. July 27, 2022.

Napoletano, E. and Lisa Rowan. “16 states have approved stimulus checks—is yours next?Forbès. July 22, 2022.

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