Giveaways are a popular tool that businesses use to engage customers on social media, particularly Facebook. But, unfortunately, there are some disreputable characters out there who use giveaways to scam people.
If you scroll through Facebook posts, you’ll find all kinds of people offering giveaways on all sorts of desirable things: Range Rovers, airline tickets, holidays in the Bahamas, and so on. The problem is that many of these giveaways aren’t real. Worse still, some are downright dangerous.
What’s The Harm Of Sharing Facebook Giveaways?
The purpose of many of these scams is to collect “likes and shares” for a particular entity, whether an individual user or a company using dodgy tactics to get its product promoted online.
Scammers worked out a long time ago that people love free stuff. What’s more, they love sharing giveaways with their friends and getting them involved too. After all, people want to allow their friends to win a prize.
The problem with many of these giveaways is that there is rarely a prize. Often, you’re just handing out your personal information for nothing in return.
Facebook doesn’t help in this matter, either. The more likes and shares that a particular giveaway scam gets, the more likely it is to appear in random news feeds, encouraging yet more people to click and share. Eventually, it spreads like wildfire throughout the network, giving the scammers all the data they need.
While using shady tactics to boost engagement isn’t fair on the people offering genuine giveaways, by itself it doesn’t cost the user anything (except the disappointment that the prize isn’t real). Unfortunately, many of these scams are also downright dangerous if you or your friends click them. Any of the following scenarios are possible:
- A link infects your computer with malware
- You are forwarded to a site which tries to scam you out of money
- The scammers collect personal details, such as your birthday, that they can use to access other accounts
- The scammer hijacks your profile.
Can You Spot A Facebook Giveaway Scam?
Okay, so Facebook scams are bad, but how do you spot them?
Check the Company Website
If a company posts a giveaway on Facebook, then they usually confirm it on their website. Go to their site and check to see whether there is any information about the competition. If not, it’s probably a scam.
Use Your Common Sense
If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. People offering enormously enticing products are just doing whatever they can to make you click the link.
Don’t Grant Permissions
When you click to “accept” third party permissions, you often don’t know what you are agreeing to. Allowing scammers access to your device information can compromise your identity and grant them access to personal information.
Never Give Out Personal Information On Facebook
You should never give out bank details or passwords on social media, even if it appears that the bank or social media company is asking for it.
Don’t Complete Surveys
Finally, some scammers ask you to complete a survey to be entered into their competition. These surveys can then install malware on your computer.