Giveaway Scam Poses as Facebook

April 17, 2017

Scammers are great impersonators. They spoof phone numbers, logos, websites... you name it. In this con, they make a scam website look like a Facebook sponsored giveaway. Don't fall for it!

How the Scam Works

You are browsing online with your smartphone, and, suddenly, a popup appears. "Congratulations," it reads, "you're today's lucky visitor." The prize is a $1,000 gift card, and you can select from a list of famous stores. You only have two minutes to claim your prize, so you better decide quickly.

Don't fall for it! The site looks like Facebook -- scammers used the site's colors, font, and blue navigation bar – but there is no affiliation. The con artists also give their phony giveaway another level of credibility. They use a technology to insert the model of phone you are using to browse online. In this example, the target is identified as a "loyal Apple customer."

How to Spot a Giveaway or Gift Card Scam:

  • Don't believe what you see. It's easy to steal the colors, logos, and header of any other established organization. Scammers can also make links look like they lead to legitimate websites and emails appear to come from a different sender.
  • Legitimate businesses do not ask for credit card numbers or banking information for coupons or giveaways. If they do ask for personal information, like an address or email, be sure there's a link to their privacy policy.
  • When in doubt, do a quick web search. If the giveaway is a scam, this is likely to reveal an alert or bring you to the organization's real website, where they may have posted further information.
  • Watch out for a reward that's too good to be true. Businesses typically give out small discounts to entice customers. If the offer seems too good to be true (a $100 voucher or 50% discount) it may be a scam.
  • Look for a mismatched subject line and email body. Many of these scams have an email subject line promising one thing, but the content of the email is something completely different.

For More Information

Facebook is a BBB Accredited Business. Learn more about scams that appear to be from Facebook here.

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.