By Brea Jones
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 web page says, “This is not a government program nor is it government aid, this is an advertorial for a loan service.”
In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has sent three payments to eligible individuals.
To continue providing relief, 16 states will send, or have sent, payments to eligible taxpayers — though these payments are more targeted and most offer considerably lower dollar amounts.
Yet some posts on social media falsely claim 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 related to any government programs.
A Facebook post shared on July 26 included a link to a bogus article with the false headline, “Biden New Stimulus Loans Up To $40,000 To Help Americans Pay Bills, Rent, Start Businesses, Or Make Large Purchases.”
The link in the Facebook post goes to a webpage on foramericanlife.com that urges readers to see if they are eligible for the “2022 Stimulus Loan.”
“Millions of Americans are now rushing to apply before funding runs out and big banks are terrified!” the bogus article reads.
Another Facebook post shared a link to the same misleading article with a similar title and a different photo of Biden that falsely announces a “Biden New Initiative” that gives Americans “stimulus loans up to $40,000.” The link goes to a different website, greatamericancenter.com.
But at the bottom of both pages, it says, “This is not a government program nor is it government aid, this is an advertorial for a loan service.”
And when you click on the “Get 2022 Stimulus Loan” 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 have seen of posts that mimic news articles or use fake celebrity endorsements to attract new customers.
In February, we wrote about one post that shared an old video of a White House official to spread false claims about stimulus checks earlier this year. (For more, see our article “Social Media Posts Use Old Video of White House Official to Make False Claim About Stimulus Checks.”). Another post shared a website masquerading 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 several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
Jones, Brea. “Fake Article Falsely Links Dr. Sanjay Gupta to CBD Products.” FactCheck.org. 19 Jan 2022.
Jones, Brea. “Social Media Posts Use Old Video of White House Official to Make False Claim About Stimulus Checks.” FactCheck.org. 3 Feb 2022.
Lever, Rob. “Posts falsely offer ‘Biden stimulus loans.’” AFP. 27 Jul 2022.
Napoletano, E. and Lisa Rowan. “16 States Have Approved Stimulus Checks—Is Yours Next?” Forbes. 22 Jul 2022.