Is Starbucks Offering a Free Beverage to Defeat Russian Trolls?

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Yet another fake coupon claiming to be from Starbucks has surfaced. This time it claims that Starbucks is offering a free beverage to everyone because of the hoaxes circulating earlier about free coffee for African Americans. The fake special claims that it does not want to let Russian trolls divide the country further, so Starbucks is offering a free beverage to everyone. Starbucks has confirmed with Heavy that this latest coupon is also a hoax.

The new fake coupon and hoax apology reads: “We here at Starbucks are very sorry to hear about people being tricked into believing a hoax perpetuated by Russian internet trolls that offered coupons entitling people of color to free coffee. Starbucks is a company that employs and serves people from all backgrounds and we feel that the best way to bridge a gap is to start a dialog. The best way to start a dialog is with a cup of coffee. Although this started as a hoax, after mountains of positive feedback on social media, we’ve decided to make it a reality. Starting tomorrow, April 19th 2018 and continuing through April 26th 2018, we will be providing ALL of our customers (1) free beverage of their choice in addition to 50% off all food items. We cannot let the racial division stoked by Russian internet trolls divide our country any longer.”

The fake message is then “signed” by CEO Kevin Johnson and features the Starbucks logo at the top. Here’s what it might look like on your social media feed:

This is the latest in a string of fake Starbucks coupons that were created after two black men were arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia when they tried to use the restroom. Starbucks has officially apologized and is going to shut down all its corporate stores on May 29 for special training related to the incident.

But Starbucks has not offered a coupon or special of any sort in relation to what happened. The first counterfeit coupon claimed that people with African American heritage would receive a free coffee at Starbucks between April 18 and May 18. The newest version claims that a free beverage is being offered for everyone.

Starbucks Media Relations confirmed with Heavy that this latest coupon is also fake. “This is completely false and in no way associated with Starbucks,” they wrote in response to an inquiry about the message.

Read more about what happened at Starbucks in Heavy’s story below.