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Criminals forge Facebook page of Volyn RMA chair, promote fakes

13.06.2023, 12:45

About a week ago, a fake page of the Volyn regional military administration chair, Yuriy Pohulyaiko, appeared on Facebook. This page then started to actively advertise misleading and manipulative information on topics of public interest among Volyn social media users, writes "Volyn Post".

The creators of the page were creating and advertising posts containing fake news such as the Red Cross allegedly "resuming financial aid for all social groups in Lutsk," or scheduled blackouts resuming in Ukraine (and Volyn, in particular), or changes in conscription rules.

Photo – screenshots of Yuriy Pohulyaiko's fake page

"Volyn Post" notes that all the posts are misleading or manipulative and touch on topics which are relevant to Ukrainians – conscription, blackouts, financial aid, the Kakhovska HPP. All of these fake posts include a link to Telegram channels that you supposedly "need" to follow to learn something, get step-by-step instructions on how to receive aid, see blackout schedules, etc.

In reality, the Red Cross offers no financial aid to "all groups of Ukrainians" and there are no new blackout schedules. Capitalizing on these topics and encouraging people to click various links is a means of expanding the audience of dubious Telegram channels and Facebook pages. The obvious goal is to attract more subscribers. When a channel's audience is large enough, the enemy will probably be able to use the promoted resources at their own discretion, for example, for propaganda psyops.

The chair of the Volyn regional military administration, Yuriy Pohulyaiko, has written on Telegram that he had learned about the fake page from Facebook users.

He asked people use just the two of his Facebook pages for obtaining information:

▪️his public page as the RMA chair;

▪️his personal page.

The information and internal policy department of the RMA told the NGO "Information in Pure Form" that they were aware of the problem and had already reported it to all the relevant authorities – the Security Service of Ukraine, the cyber police and the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

It is important that such posts and profiles are reported.

To do this:

  • Follow the link.
  • Click on the three dots in the right corner.
  • Choose "Find support or report".
  • Specify the reason: "Fake page".

The most obvious signs that the page is fake:

▪️ the earliest posts on the page were made a few days ago, while Yuriy Pohulyaiko has long been running official social media pages to spread information and has not made any announcements about the creation of a new page;

▪️ posts contain links to Telegram channels (and these are not Pohulyaiko's official Telegram channel, but dubious channels that require you to follow them to learn about something supposedly very important);

▪️ posts contain a large number of spelling errors (for example, "for residents of LutskU", "legalL grounds for avoiding conscription", etc.)

▪️the contacts listed in the profile information (address, phone number, and e-mail) are strange and have nothing to do with the Volyn Regional Military Administration.

The editors note that they have been trying call the listed phone number for several days, but "the subscriber cannot receive the call at the moment."

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