A misleading video with millions of views on Facebook falsely implies that the U.S. government is providing new relief funds for Americans.
The May 19 video says, “Americans can get up to $50k in relief” from a “new benefit that just got released last week.”
The video begins by showing footage of what appears to be a television news broadcast with a CNN logo at the bottom of the screen and next to it text that says, “Americans can now claim up to $50,000.” The footage is dated April 22 and marked “Breaking News.”
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
But there is not a new government benefit available to Americans. The Facebook video directs viewers to a website that provides quotes for private loans from multiple lenders.
The TV news segment featured in the video appears to be fabricated. The footage is identical to a video available on the stock photography website Shutterstock. We also did not find any similar headlines or stories from April 22 in a search of CNN’s website and Twitter page.
During the Facebook video, a narrator gestures to the fabricated news broadcast and says, “This program’s been all over the news lately. So a new benefit just got released last week, allowing Americans to claim up to $50,000. You don’t need any credit history at all, no bank requirements. I did it myself and I got $8,000 in two days.”
He adds, “You just come to this website right here.” The site shown is Personal Loan Pro.
Personal Loan Pro is a loan comparison website, according to FinanceBuzz, a personal finance site. It matches users to potential lenders, with quotes and terms from multiple loan providers in one place. Going to that website doesn’t automatically guarantee a loan; people still must submit an application to a lender.
Any money received as a result of finding a lender via Personal Loan Pro is borrowed and must be paid back according to the terms of the loan.
Despite the Facebook post’s claims, Personal Loan Pro is neither a “relief” program nor a new government benefit.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!