In July 2017, people shared (and were skeptical of) claims that an ongoing Verizon backpack giveaway makes bookbags and school supplies available to store visitors at no charge:
I am seeing a number of my friends saying that Verizon will be giving a free backpack of school supplies to any child and parent who show up at a Verizon store on 7/23 between 1 and 4. However, I can only find any links on coupon sites such as the following. I suspect a come on.
There is no list at this site just a big run around.
As seen today on my cousin’s Facebook page. Free backpack from Verizon? It seems too good to be true (and we all know what the outcome of that usually is”.
Is Verizon giving away free backpacks filled with school supplies?
News stories and rumors about freebies available nationwide often spread via word of mouth, decoupling claims such as the one about the Verizon backpack giveaway from their source. (Additionally, some level of skepticism is warranted, given the number of previous freebie claims based on false or mostly false information.)
The Verizon backpack giveaway rumor appeared frequently in a vacuum and stripped of details, but it is real:
We contacted a representative, who told us that the giveaway is real, but run by affiliates and only at participating locations:
The entity that is in charge of the giveaway is TCC (The Cellular Connection) We are a Verizon Retailer and have over 1,300 locations throughout the US. This has become a yearly routine and this year we will be giving out more than 170,000.
A complete list of outlets participating in the Verizon backpack giveaway in 2017 can be found here.