Beware of Facebook Contest Scams



Today, while I was browsing my news feed, I noticed two friends who posted photos of high end cars with huge red ribbons on them. Intrigued, I clicked on the "See More" links and found out that these cars, an "Audi R8 4WD" and a "Mercedes-Benz G-class", will be given away to two "winners" each! And these winners will be chosen from people who liked, placed comments and shared their posts and pages.

You read that right, FREE CARS for just liking a post! Easy huh?

But, before you get all excited and jump into clicking those like and share buttons, read their instructions carefully.




According to the Audi R8 4WD. facebook page:
For the FIRST time in facebook history we are giving away 2 Audi R8 to two winners that we will select on September 8 2015 completely at random.

Would you like to join this amazing giveaway for a chance to own a brand new AUDI? Simply follow the steps below to enter the competition:

Step 1) Likes this Page
Step 2) Like this Post
Step 3) Comment which color you want. (CREME OR SILVER)
Step 4) Share on your wall

The winners will be messaged via inbox message

Good Luck

According to the Mercedes Benz G-Class facebook page:
For the FIRST time in the history of Mercedes Benz we are giving away 2 Mercedes Benz G-Class to two winners that we will select on September 8 completely at random.

This is the Dream car you have been waiting for and it could be all yours! Simply follow the steps below to enter the competition :

Step 1) Likes this Page
Step 2) Like this Post
Step 3) Comment which color you want. (Silver or Black)
Step 4) Share on your wall

The winners will be messaged via inbox message

Good Luck,
Notice the similarities? Geesh, even the grammatical errors are the same!

So, right after I saw both posts, I immediately sent the above screen shots to both of my friends. One of them laughed and thanked me then deleted the post right away. The other one, well maybe he's already sleeping. Hopefully he'll take notice tomorrow.

Anyway, I wonder what these people get for doing these? What's the catch?

I understand that there are legit contests out there that really give away prices for page and post likes. I for one, helped organize a free band shirt contest two years ago with almost the same rules and gave away a Nirvana Unplugged T-Shirt. Why were they giving away a free shirt for likes? To simply promote their online store that sell band shirts! But for fake contests with such "alleged" huge prizes, what would they get for these likes and shares? Their "About" page are basically empty!

HOW TO CHECK IF A CONTEST IS A SCAM
(I'll be writing another post on how to easily determine scams.)

After taking several screen shots, I noticed that more and more friends kept sharing the same photos. So, I decided to blog about it instead of going over each one to explain. I will just let them read what I found out and at the same time help spread awareness to other people. So, while writing this post, I went back to the contest posts and noticed a new line on the Benz photo. Bingo! CLICK BAIT!

For the FIRST time in the history of Mercedes Benz we are giving away 2 Mercedes Benz G-Class to two winners that we will select on September 8 completely at random.

This is the Dream car you have been waiting for and it could be all yours! Simply follow the steps below to enter the competition :

Step 1) Likes this Page
Step 2) Like this Post
Step 3) Comment which color you want. (Silver or Black)
Step 4) Share on your wall

then go here for a chance to win: http://carrss.us/g

The winners will be messaged via inbox message

Good Luck,
Can you imagine how fast this single post can go viral? In less than 6 hours more than 30,000 people have already shared, liked and placed comments on the Benz photo! The Audi only got a little short of 10,000 likes, shares and comments in about 12 hours. But still, that IS fast! And the numbers are even growing by the minute! Just a fraction of these people would click the links, but who knows what kind of information can be stolen from them or worse, they may even unknowingly get a virus!

Now would I dare click on it? I don't think so. I won't even place hyperlinks on this post. I won't recommend going to these sites, either. Please understand that sites like these may contain potential danger, so click at your own risk. Just remember not to download anything nor fill out forms, especially those that ask for emails and personal information. And NEVER pay anything using your credit card!

I was about to publish this post when I noticed another similar "contest" on my news feed. But this time, it's an iphone 6! A few friends have already shared it, some were even the same ones who shared the car photos!
When I checked to see how many people shared, the post was already edited and a link was also included! Another click bait!

Thankfully, one of the exercises in MMS101 last term included checking the whois info of eCommerce websites! Although whois is not new to me, we went over so many sites that I practically got used to it and made it a habit now to check on suspicious sites even after the term was over. TRY IT HERE!

And surprise! Surprise! These websites belong to the same person. HA!

To see the full Whois Check, click here: iPhone 6 and Mercedez Benz

Here are some clues that could determine the validity of these contests:

1. Same Registrant Email, same Registrant Name but with an extra "U" on the first name for one of the Registrant Names.
2. Different addresses. North Brunswick, New Jersey is more than 5 hours away from Someverille, Massachusetts. And by the way, it's "Somerville".
3. Domain Registration is one day apart.
4. The Reverse Whois Lookup contains 86 domains registered to the same email address. While, one name is registered to 20 domains (all created in the same day) and the other name has 16 domains (all created within 2 days, except for one which is the only ".org").
5. "Registrant Application Purpose: P3" - P3 stands for Personal (Reference). Don't you think someone giving away at least 2 cars and 10 iphone 6 would at least register as a business and use either P1 or P2?
6. US-based Registrant giving away iPhones in the Philippines. (Now, who'd pay the BOC taxes? LOL...)

But seriously, do the math. The same email is being used to register several domains under different names! Who needs that many .US websites? Now, would that spell as scam for you or not?

Something Note-Worthy: Always think before you click and check before you join.


Comments

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *