I’ve got three fake giveaway scams that I’ve seen shared on Facebook this week by members of my own family. All of them have warning signs that they are definitely not the real thing. Let’s check them out. We’ll start with this alleged cigarette giveaway. It promise3s that Malboro will give everyone who shares the link 10 cartons of cigarette for its anniversary. Okay folks, how do we know this is a fake? Let me count the way.
It’s illegal to giveaway cigarettes in contests in the United States. Ten cartons of cigarettes would cost roughly $700 in Ohio, more in some parts of the U.S. Does it seem reasonable that a company would promise $700 to every single person who shares a link? Millions of people can share a link in a fairly short amount of time. If you do click on the link, you’ll be taken to an alleged survey. What’s really happening is that you’re being directed to a site that can potentially download ransomware or other malware on your device. Clicking the Yes or No buttons on the survey could be welcoming all manner of garbage onto your computer.
Up next, we have a similar scam minus the deadly product. This one claims that JetBlue has announced that everyone who shares the link will be sent two plane tickets. Once again, this makes zero sense. How could an airline afford to give potentially millions of people free plane tickets?
Once again, you’re directed to a potentially malicious site where you have to click on buttons to agree to stuff. These buttons could be authorizing just about anything to happen.
Finally, we’ve got an oldie but a goodie. The fake coupon scam. This one for an alleged $75 per family coupon from Costco. Because, once again, a major company can afford to hand out 75 bucks to potentially millions of people. There’s not even a minimum purchase. Try getting a 50 cent coupon without strings attached, much less $75.
Costco has warned people that it’s a fake. Honestly, you should know it’s a fake. Coupons have to make sense for a company. Once again, you’re being directed towards a potentially malicious site.
It’s time to stop sharing things like this ‘Just in case’ they happen to be real. You’re not only putting your devices but the devices of all fo your friends at risk and encouraging bad online behavior.
Don’t share things like this. If you see them, alert people that they are a scam.