A fake Instagram account for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network has tricked around 100,000 Instagram users and counting.
The account promised $20,000 scholarships for the first 50,000 followers on their accounts, then raised the number of people eligible for the accounts to 100,000 after more than 50,000 joined. Then, conveniently, it disappeared right before it reached 100,000 followers.
Then it reappeared under a new handle. And it already has thousands of gullible followers:
There’s also a Twitter account, but it hasn’t gained steam in the same way, even though it promises a full scholarship to college, which would be a great deal if it wasn’t, you know, totally fake:
First 25k retweets will win scholarship for college of their choice.
— (@Oprah_Scholars) January 29, 2014
Oprah is known for giving away extremely extravagant gifts to audience members on her former show, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that her station would offer ample scholarship money in a contest, but I don’t think there’s ever been a situation where an organization of any repute has given a scholarship based on simply ‘liking’ or re-posting on social media. There’s usually an essay involved.
This is another case of the thing that seems too good to be true, being too good to be true.
In happier news, it is real Oprah’s birthday and she is posting pajama selfies on her real Instagram account, so check them out: