You may not want to click a link for a free carton of Marlboro cigarettes that is going around on social media.
If you click on the links shown in the screenshot below, you are actually clicking on a malicious link, and you won’t get a free carton of cigarettes.
One fake Marlboro coupon states that you’ll get “One Free Carton” of “Any Marlboro Brand Cigarette,” while the other promises 2 free cartons. One link has a title of “Get-a-Free Marlboro Cigarette Carton to celebrate 144th Birthday,” and another link has a similar (poorly-worded) title of, “Get-2-Free Marlboro Cigarette Carton to celebrate 110th Birthday.” The domains in the coupons, rite-com.com and marlboro.com-enjoy.com were both registered in April 2016. It is a common tactic for scammers to register throwaway domains that are used for a brief time and then discarded.
When you click the link, malicious code will be sent to your computer. If you have antivirus software installed on your system it will probably block the malicious code. Our desktop computer running Norton 360 displayed the following error when we tried clicking the link:
Although we never made it to the destination URLs, based on the wording of the link, it looks quite similar to other fake coupons which have circulated on social media, such as this bogus Little Caesars coupon which saw heavy sharing in February 2016. Many of these fake coupons claim that a company is celebrating its “birthday” by giving away free items. In the occasions that we have been able to get to the destination, we found ourselves looking at a typical survey scam.
Such scams want you to take surveys and sign up for a “rewards” program that dupes you into recruiting your friends by sharing their bogus links. We have yet to find a person who has actually reaped any reward from one of these scams. You’re best off avoiding these types of links.
The coupons circulating on social media which promise free cartons of Marlboro cigarettes are bogus. The link will download malicious code to your computer, and the destination URL appears to be a typical survey scam.