Fake gift card offers — they’re not just for Target Contests and BestBuyWin.net anymore! A new fraud scheme has been making the rounds tempting Facebook users with a free $100 McDonalds gift card if you fill out a survey. Don’t fall for it.
Just like those spam text messages from Target Contests and BestBuyContest.com, there’s no prize to claim. If you try to redeem your reward, you’ll just end up with a hacked Facebook account, tons of spam and a giant headache. The promotion isn’t endorsed by McDonalds and it isn’t real.
Hoax-Slayer.com reported on this bogus offer, sharing an example of the phony promotion:
I’m more of an In-N-Out girl than a McDonalds fan, but who wouldn’t want $100 worth of free food? And all you need to do is install a Facebook application, right?
Wrong. Hoax-Slayer elaborates:
“The post is not part of an official McDonald’s campaign. In fact, it is a typical survey scam. Users who fall for the ruse and follow the link will first be tricked into spamming the same bogus promotion to their friends by “liking” or “sharing” the bogus McDonald’s promotions page.
Next, they will be told they must complete a survey or offer before receiving their free McDonald’s vouchers. Some of the “survey” pages ask users to provide personal information including name, address and contact details, ostensibly to allow them to go in the draw for a prize.”
And if you give them your cell phone number, you’ll receive text message spam (aka “smishing”) for even more fake prize schemes. The fraudsters may also sign you up for monthly services without your permission.
Even if you have an unlimited texting or data plan for your cell phone, you won’t be protected from these additional subscription charges.
Remember the Golden Rule About Free Offers
When faced with a free offer, always ask yourself if it sounds too good to be true. Would McDonalds really give away $100 gift cards to everyone on Facebook who clicked a few links? Sadly, the answer is no.
Hoax-Slayer explains that it’s just deceptive affiliate marketing:
“No matter how many offers or surveys they complete, or what services they subscribe to, victims will never receive their promised vouchers.
The scammers who create these bogus promotions will earn commissions via suspect affiliate marketing schemes each and every time a victim completes an offer or participates in a survey. “
I’m not lovin’ it, you guys.
Remember, the people who run these schemes want to fool you, so they’ll use an official McDonalds’ logo and try to make their offer sound like the real deal. But the restaurant chain doesn’t have anything to do with this ploy. It’s just an attempt to exploit you online.
Is Your Facebook Timeline Flooded with Bogus Gift Cards?
If you see this gift card promotion on your Facebook Timeline, just ignore it. If you’re concerned that your account has been hacked, check out our post about Warning Signs That You’ve Been Hacked on Facebook.
Have you ever tried to redeem a free gift card offer from an affiliate marketing company? What happened? Share your stories in the comments below!
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