Scams change all the time, especially on the dynamic platform that is Facebook. Some scams, however, remain largely the same. And for some reason, we just don’t learn how to spot them.
May be we don’t see how they’re dangerous, or don’t understand how they work. Either way, these 6 Facebook scams have been tricking us time and time again and it’s really about time we stopped falling for them.
Click this link for a free gift voucher!
Ever see friends sharing a link claiming to offer a free gift voucher for a famous high street brand? Usually because apparently that brand is celebrating their anniversary and giving away lots of free coupons?
This annoyingly persistent scam never seems to go away because Facebook users use the “just in case” justification, or the “it can’t hurt” thought process.
Problem is, it can hurt. Especially if you don’t like spam, which is exactly what these schemes are created to do. Spam you.
See, you click the link and the first thing you’re asked to do is share the same link from your timeline, i.e. spam your friends. After that you’re directed to any number of seriously spammy “rewards” websites that try and entice you into winning free goodies but all they really want is your contact details so they can bombard you with spam. Not just through email, but marketing calls through the phone, SMS messages and even good old postal spam!
Is it really worth a gift voucher? Doesn’t matter, because the free gift voucher doesn’t even exist. So think twice before clicking though these links.
Win this awesome free prize (but first, just share this post and follow our page.)
Yes, legitimate pages do publish legitimate promotions on Facebook. Legitimate pages. This can mean the official blue ticked page belonging to a global brand like Coca Cola, or the real page belonging to your favourite local brand like the Pizza place down the road.
But if a page is claiming you can win some expensive prize (gift coupons, cars, airline tickets, holidays etc.) and all you need to do it follow their page and share their post, the chances are that the page isn’t the real deal. Pages aren’t supposed to ask you to share a post to your timeline since it’s against Facebook’s terms of service (and if your privacy is locked down, they wouldn’t know if you did, anyway!)
So if the Facebook page has some generic name or is trying to disguise itself as a well-known brand (but lacks the verified blue tick that official pages have) and has no contact details, and all they seem to be trying to do is to lure people into following them with the bait of prizes, then you’re almost certainly looking at a scam!
Don’t fall for them, because they can lure you with spammy links leading to dubious info-harvesting websites, or they can try and trick you into sending money by telling you you’ve won a prize but need to pay an upfront fee!
A familiar friend request
If you get a friend request from someone you could have sworn was already a friend, then you should think twice before hitting accept. This could be a cloning scam. This is where a scammer “clones” a friends Facebook account by creating a new account with the same name and profile picture as your friend.
The aim is to trick you into accepting that request thinking it’s your friend. If you do accept, you’re giving the crook access to all your ‘friends only’ posts. Not only that, but the crook can send you messages while pretending to be your friend to try and trick you. For example, the crook may pretend they’re in an emergency situation and need you to send them money… (see next scam)
Learn more information on Facebook cloning here.