Facebook ads not affiliated with Imperial Oil

Facebook ads claiming affiliation with a Canadian oil company urge users to join a program that will earn them a daily windfall on the sale of domestic oil and gas. This is false; Imperial said it did not create the ads and warns on its website against scams impersonating its brand.

"Imperial allows every resident of Canada to earn on the sale of domestic oil and gas," says a November 8, 2022 Facebook post.

It includes a video that has been watched tens of thousands of times. A voiceover says: "Thanks to a special Imperial Go website, anyone can join the trade in national gas and oil and receive from $600 every day ... only Imperial Oil shares these profits with people."

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken November 17, 2022

The video spread after high oil prices helped Imperial Oil Ltd post in April 2022 its highest first-quarter profit in more than 30 years.

Similar posts urge users to register on a website or to install an app, potentially tempting Canadians facing high inflation in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But Lisa Schmidt, a spokeswoman for Imperial, told AFP in an email: "These posts are not affiliated with Imperial."

One ad was published by an account with the Imperial logo, but it includes unrelated footage featuring former CEO Rich Kruger speaking to local media about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in 2018.

Kruger retired in 2019. Imperial's current CEO is Brad Corson.

Another ad uses an excerpt from a parliamentary speech in which New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh decried oil companies' "massive profits" amid questions about taxing the industry.

Imperial Oil warns on its website about the fraudulent use of the company's name and image.

"It has come to our attention that unauthorized individuals have attempted to use the Imperial name and logo, as well as the names of Imperial directors, executives and employees, in emails and on websites to solicit up-front fees from interested individuals and businesses," the website says.

The company adds: "Imperial does not use social media and unsolicited email or written correspondence to request that individuals or businesses pay an advance fee of any kind in order to conduct business with Imperial."

Imposter site

The pages running the ads use the names Imperial G&O and Canadian G&O. Both were created recently, and the page transparency details for the latter show it is managed from Ukraine.

This screenshot taken November 17, 2022 shows the transparency details of a Facebook page called Canadian G&O

This screenshot taken November 17, 2022 shows the transparency details of a Facebook page called Imperial G&O

 

 

The ads do not link to Imperial Oil's website, but rather to an unaffiliated survey site designed to obtain personal information.

AFP Fact Check has previously examined fraudulent social media campaigns designed to mislead Canadians.