By now we’ve all become wary of posts like this one on Facebook: “Costco is currently giving away $100.00 gift cards to all Facebook users!’
Alas, as of this writing, a bogus Costco gift card scam was live on Facebook.
We have no doubt that the social network’s immune system will detect the web address that the latest posts include and add the URLs to the security databases.
However, scammers have a way of moving to new addresses as soon as Facebook blocks an old URL, so it behooves you to remain watchful for posts that look dubious.
With that in mind, here are three other scams that Facebook recently extinguished — observe the patterns and learn from them.
“Happy Christmas! Free $200 Jb Hi Fi Voucher!” This has also popped up in some newsfeeds and is a link which will send you to a survey, earning commission for the scam’s creator. Jb Hi Fi is an Australian electronics store and the store’s official website has a very visible note telling its visitors that the free $200 voucher is nothing but a hoax.
Although there is no more trace of Jb Hi-Fi scams on Facebook, fake gift card giveaways will continue to be seen on newsfeeds because scammers always look to take advantage of seasonal trends.
Love him or hate him, a video in your newsfeed promising to show a clip of Justin Bieber being stabbed is something that will likely get your attention: “Justin Bieber STABBED By CRAZED Fan Outside N.Y.C. NightClub!”
This Justin Bieber scam was first reported in December 8 and has since been taken down.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
If you’re a fan of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Facebook you may have received a Facebook message from someone claiming to be Eric Gold, DeGeneres’s real life manager, claiming that you were selected to be on the show because of your Facebook activity on the show’s fan page.
The fake Eric Gold promised a $3,000 check to cover travel expenses but only after you sent “ticket and hotel reservation funds” via Western Union. Telepictures, the producer of the show, has sued the Eric Gold imposter in an effort to protect the Ellen DeGeneres brand.
The scam was revealed by The Hollywood Reporter and the fake profile has since been taken down.
All of the aforementioned scams, except for the Ellen DeGeneres one, were clickjacking hoaxes which did nothing but earn commission for the scam creators.
Scams like the Ellen DeGeneres one, however, are much more dangerous because they involve real money and are much more believable.
Although scammers have relied mainly on clickjacking links to earn money, they may increasingly turn towards posing as real people as Facebook users become more and more desensitized to fake news feed headlines.
Readers, have you ever reported any suspicious-looking Facebook posts to Facebook security?
Guest writer Nickolay Lamm keeps track of online scams at InventHelp.