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Facebook Scams: The Fake Free Holiday Competition
Facebook is full of all sorts of great competitions and giveaways, most of them are legitimate but there is a real growing trend of fake competitions designed to trick users to steal personal information.
We’ve recently come across Facebook pages promoting free holidays to destinations all around the world. All you need to do is like and share the post to be entered into the competition. Seems simple, right? Wrong. These fake pages are set up by scammers who claim to be well known brands such as ‘Thomson Holidays’ who then use these pages to farm Facebook likes so that they can build up a large following so they appear to be legitimate. The pages will then ask its followers to enter their contact details onto a web page (set up by the scammers) so that they can be entered into a ‘competition’. The bad guys will then sell on your data to illegitimate marketing businesses, or even worse use your contact details to phish personal data such as passwords or bank account details.
Facebook are working to remove these pages, but with thousands of new Facebook pages being created each day it can take days or even weeks for pages to be removed by Facebook’s Moderation team. Pages often go unnoticed because they are posing as legitimate and harmless.
The easiest way to check if a competition is legitimate is to see if the page that is holding the competition has the verified blue or white tick. Popular brands and businesses, along with celebrities, will often have a verification blue tick to show that the page is real. If you think that a page or profile is posting fake or malicious content, you can report the page/profile using the report feature.
If you do end up being redirected to another site outside of Facebook to enter a competition, look at the Website URL to determine if the website is real. If the website contains random letters and numbers along with a brand name, this is a big red flag (e.g. www.disneylands34u1.co.uk).
Lastly, follow the age-old rule, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is”.