A recent trend on Facebook is the appearance of new pages which promise free Apple products to anyone who likes and shares their content. The problem is, they are completely bogus.
We’ll look at a couple of examples among the dozens, if not hundreds, of phony “giveaway” pages out there, as there are variants in their approach.
All of of these “giveaway” pages will encourage you to like and share the page or photos they post. In many cases, the are really just funneling unsuspecting visitors to a bait-and-switch “sponsored offer” page. Take a page called Freegiveawayiphone5 – for example. They ask you to:
Step 1) Like our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/freegiveawayiphone5 .
Step 2) Share this photo.
Step 3) Complete the steps from our website http://iphone5.claimtheprize.net/ .
When you visit iphone5.claimtheprize.net you are asked (again) to like and share the page, after which you are then presented with a series of hoops through which you must jump – while the elusive iPhone is never really given away. No winners on this Facebook page are ever announced, nor do any supposed winners post that they’ve won in the comments.
The page itself has no identifying information, other than the “claimtheprize.net” website they promote. It should also be noted that this particular page was created on November 20, 2012, and claimtheprize.net website was created two days later. Both were created barely over a month prior to the writing of this article. This is more evidence of a fly-by-night operation.
Another pages, such as one called FreeAppleProductsGiveaway, appear to funnel users to other similar Facebook pages – all while collecting likes and shares for their photos. Notice that it has the exact same cover photo as our first example. They ask you to like another Facebook page, called iPhone5GiveawayContest, which is newer (created 12/20/2012) and basically the same as the others. Though this page did list “winners” last week, it’s likely that those names are either fake or merely friends/admins of the page. We couldn’t find or verify the posted profiles. It’s also possible that the “winners” were merely referred to a sponsored “rewards” program, which is certainly no prize.
Don’t be fooled into liking, sharing, and the proliferation of such scams on Facebook.
The popularity of Apple products makes them enticing bait for scammers and spammers alike. Take, for example, this article from last summer, where a similar text-based scam was spreading: The Free iPad That Isn’t Free
A Facebook user sent us a link to yet another one of these “giveaway” pages today. That particular page is https://www.facebook.com/AppleProductsGiveaways. It links to a blogspot page which appears to be an extension of their Facebook page. Our response included these points to consider:
- Bad grammar. (“Wanna Win A Free Apple Products?”)
- They don’t identify themselves.
- The “winners” never seem to come forward.
- They host the “giveaway” on Blogspot instead of a real website.
- There are dozens of other pages exactly like it.
Consider how many of these Facebook pages continue to crop up with the same “giveaway.” Here are just a few:
As of March 2013, all of the Facebook pages listed above are gone. This shows you just how fly-by-night these fake pages are.