online scams

FACT CHECK: ‘SM Christmas Gift’ link is a phishing website

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FACT CHECK: ‘SM Christmas Gift’ link is a phishing website
An anti-malware scan of the link that poses as promotion of a supposed Christmas gift from the shopping mall chain detected potential phishing threats

Claim: A link circulating through private messages redirects users to a Christmas gift offered by SM Supermalls. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was submitted to Rappler via email for a fact-check. Based on the screenshot sent, a link to a purported survey was being spread via Facebook Messenger.

The facts: Earlier in December, Rappler debunked a similar post claiming to offer users a chance to receive a P7,000 Christmas gift from SM in exchange for completing an online questionnaire. The link being spread now is fake, too. 

Malicious link: A scan of the link on VirusTotal, a free anti-malware website owned by Google, revealed that the link was flagged as malicious by two of its security vendors. Kaspersky and Yandex Safebrowsing detected potential phishing threats. Users who click on the link may be at risk of having their sensitive personal information stolen. (READ: Phishing 101: How to spot and avoid phishing)

The address of the phishing website is also very different from the official website of the shopping mall chain,

Debunked: SM Supermalls has denied the supposed Christmas gift in an earlier statement. It advised the public to visit their official website and Facebook account for official information about their promotions.

Legitimate Christmas promo: SM Supermalls has a legitimate online quiz offering Christmas baskets and P2,000 gift certificates as prizes. The quiz can be found on their official website.

Previous fact-checks: Rappler has debunked claims from dubious websites claiming to offer giveaways from various brands and companies:

– Ailla Dela Cruz/

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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