Facebook hoax targets Indonesian and Malaysian customers with fake KFC promotion

·2 min read

Facebook posts shared thousands of times claim that American fried chicken chain KFC is dishing out free coupons to customers in Indonesia and Malaysia to celebrate its 71st anniversary. However, the promotion is a hoax. The companies that run KFC in the two Southeast Asian countries urged consumers to ignore the scheme, which is not mentioned on the brand's official communication channels. KFC is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2022, not its 71st.

"To celebrate 71 years of @KFC, we are sending a coupon to those who share and write "Love KFC", reads an Indonesian-language Facebook post from September 4, 2022.

"Before September 5th at 4pm. Each voucher can be used at any KFC to get three FREE chicken buckets!"

The post was published by a Facebook page called "KFC Fans" and attracted more than 3,400 shares.

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on September 7, 2022

Similar posts promoting the scheme circulated here and here in two other "KFC Fans" Facebook pages, which were posted in mid-August and early September 2022, respectively.

Another Facebook page called "KFC Malaysia" posted details of the same purported promotion in August 2022, which has been shared more than 400 times.

Representatives for KFC in Indonesia and Malaysia said the "coupon promotion" was fake.

Consumer warning

Justinus Dalimin Juwono, director of PT Fast Food Indonesia, the company that operates KFC in Indonesia, said the scheme was a hoax.

"The promotion is not true. That's not from PT Fast Food Indonesia," he told AFP.

He asked consumers to "ignore" the posts, which he said were not associated with the brand.

There was no trace of the purported promotion on KFC Indonesia's website or its official Facebook, InstagramTwitter and YouTube pages.

KFC Malaysia issued a similar warning urging customers "not to respond to the promotion and share any personal information".

It said the "KFC Malaysia" Facebook page promoting the hoax was "fake".

None of the "KFC Fans" or the "KFC Malaysia" Facebook pages feature a blue verification badge nor the accounts are mentioned in the official websites -- hallmarks of imposter accounts.

Furthermore, KFC opened its first restaurant on August 4, 1952, near Salt Lake City, Utah, making 2022 the company's 70th anniversary and not its 71st, as the posts claim.

Facebook pages impersonating companies in order to promote scams typically ask users to share and comment on posts, and sometimes to divulge personal details.

AFP has previously debunked scam offers of everything from free donuts and free cash handouts to gasoline gift cards and free internet data.