Are you falling for the Facebook scams?
It’s a sad fact about scams but social media outlets such as Facebook are attracting more and more scammers as time goes on. Most of these are offering something for free if you like and share their post or click on a sign-up button. But in reality they are just mining your data or targeting you for advertising purposes which will fill your timeline with posts they want you to see.
Let’s have a look at a good example of a scammer on Facebook at the minute. Here’s the post in question:
You can already see that over twenty thousand people have fallen for this!
So how do we tell it’s a scam?
There are quite a few quick checks you can do to avoid Facebook scams before sharing or signing up that just take a few seconds.
1: Check the comments.
If you scroll through the comments, there is normally a few that indicate that this is a scam post, just like this useful person who is obviously aware of potential scams:
2: Page Transparency
Check the “Page Transparency” section on the home page. As you can see on the scam page, it was created on the 31st of March this year:
Nothing suspicious about that, eh?
3: Check the “About” section.
A legitimate page is normally filled out with loads of details. A Facebook scams page has very little to offer here as they rarely spend the time populating details that a genuine business would:
Whereas if you compare it to the genuine page….
4: Run a search on on the company within Facebook.
When I did this, I struggled to find “Toby Carvery UK”. Instead, I found the official page:
Interestingly, scrolling down the results, I also saw this which indicates that they are well aware of the Facebook scams and are not impressed:
5: Check the photo’s gallery.
If a page has been created with the intention of scamming people, the scammers rarely concentrate on the back story. Here’s a comparison between the scam site and the genuine site:
As you can see, the scam page has 4 pictures and the genuine page has over 2 thousand – a pretty good indicator that it has been going a tad longer.
6: Check what the page can do.
Big companies invest heavily in their social pages and as such, they tend to have more functionality. For example, the scam page wants you to sign up to get an offer by going to an external site:
This site – Rewards Giant – is basically a funnel site with the sole intention of getting you to sign up to a program where you probably have to pay either upfront or by subscription to get discounts on products. To be honest, I didn’t sign up (not surprised, huh?) so don’t know the full details but I did spend a few minutes Googling both getoffer4u and Rewards Giant and didn’t really find anything in the results. This tells me that they don’t tend to advertise and rely solely on hooking people via social media scam pages.
Also, from the sign-up page via the button on their Facebook page, there is an FAQ link at the bottom. A quick read through this shows they basically want you to continually purchase or sign up to “deals” to earn points. It’s likely that it could take a long time to earn enough points to get the Toby gift card initially offered and you would end up being absolutely bombarded with spam.
In comparison, if you look at the genuine Toby Carvery page, you get a lot more bang for your buck:
Straight away, you can see it has a Welcome page and the ability to book tables. On the “More” section it has more extras such as opening times, page rules and events. All this shows a considerable amount of time and effort have been invested into the page. Also, the main button isn’t concentrating on getting your details but is just a link to the page where you can purchase gift cards. This is totally transparent as genuine companies don’t need to use shady tactics.
So why do they do it?
There are many reasons why people run Facebook scams but here are what are probably the top 3:
- Data mining – they want to build a list of people and obtain their personal data – quite a bit of which is freely available on your Facebook profile.
- Selling – they use the fake offer to draw you in to their nefarious scheme.
- Targeted advertising – they either collect your details to add to mailing lists or once the page has so many likes, they sell it and change the name to another business to they have thousands of ready made target customers.
If it looks too good to be true – it probably is. You may get something out of them in the end but it will likely not be worth the risk or the hassle of increased spam.
Follow these few simple steps and don’t fall for any scams.
Stay safe out there 🙂