Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with our friends and even make new acquaintances. Many of us are completely hooked on to it and can’t let a day pass by without checking updates on it. Facebook even though is a place for friends, attracts scammers also. It gives these deceitful people a chance to reach millions of people worldwide through a closely knit network.
One of the latest scams running on Facebook currently is offering people gift cards for becoming fans of various pages, products, websites etc. This way the scammers collect confidential information about the people and use their accounts and information dishonestly. Gift cards were earlier used to trick people through email but they have now reached Facebook.
How it works
A gift card scam works by offering a gift card to the first X number of fans. You will usually get information about this through a friend or acquaintance. There will be a link to an external site in the message. This is to make the offer look authentic, but the other website is usually an affiliate marketing site for collecting information or generating traffic. These scams are used for identity thefts, sending of junk messages to contacts of the person, and generating traffic for a certain website.
After the recent IKEA $1000 gift card scam, Facebook is warning its users to be wary of free gift card offers, which are used to collect personal information from people or to spam their contacts. People have also been warned about spam by friends who fall prey to the spammer.
After the spammers get control of a Facebook account, they send random advertisements to the friends through wall posts, messages or chats. That is why you need to be careful even about the messages you get from your friends.
Meanwhile, the Facebook team is busy removing all scam applications and pages from the website such as the iTunes gift card scam pages. Their task is not made simple by the fact that some gift card offers are actually genuine. Facebook is also trying an automated system that will detect suspicious behavior if it appears similar to that of gift card scams.
Watch out for suspicious activity
Until the site is free of scammers, you should watch out for some telltale signs of such pages or applications. For example, the comments or the information section of such a page would be empty or would look phony. The pages of genuine businesses usually look sophisticated. Under any circumstances, never give out your personal information to avail of any free offer.