A fake Facebook post offering a “completely free Christmas” has managed to garner over 415,000 shares.
The post below has joined a number of other posts by going viral across Facebook by offering a “free Christmas” prize that doesn’t exist.
4 WINNERS WILL GET A COMPLETELY FREE CHRISTMAS!!! Who wants it?
LIKE AND SHARE TO WIN
Comment ” I WANT”
Winner must like this page Mystery Santas Gifts
The page asks Facebook users to like and share the Facebook post as well as comment “I want”. The post also asks users to follow the Facebook page that made the post, Mystery Santas Gifts.
The number of Facebook users that have jumped through these hoops is a reminder that there are still plenty of people who are willing to engage with such potentially dangerous scams on Facebook.
How are these scams dangerous?
The anonymous people behind this Facebook post aren’t giving away a free Christmas to anyone. So why do they want you to enter their fake competition?
In some recent examples of these scams, we’ve seen the crooks operating these like-farming Facebook pages actually contact many of those who engaged with the post offering a free Christmas telling them that they’ve won the prize, but first must pay some sort of handling/courier fee before the prize can be dispatched. This is called advance fee fraud – conning a victim into forking over money on the false promise they’ll get a much larger payout.
Alternatively, those who follow the page are targeted with follow up posts that direct them to spammy marketing websites that are designed to collect a visitor’s contact information for the purposes of spamming them over email and phone.
The problem with these scams is that they ask users to interact with their page, which makes them vulnerable. If the crooks know a user is naïve enough to engage with a blatant like-farming post, they can then target those users with other types of scams.
Spotting these like-farming posts is easy. There are not too many companies, brands or individuals giving away expensive prizes under the guise of anonymity… so if you can’t see who is behind a page and they claim to be giving away expensive prizes, you’re probably looking at a scam. Such scam pages often operate under generic names (point in case, Mystery Santas gifts) and offer no information on the people behind it and lack any contact information. This is a big red flag.
Additionally, Facebook posts that request you share them onto your own timeline are more than likely scams since this is against Facebook’s terms of service.