It sometimes annoys me with the questionable posts that friends share to their wall, as it shows up in my news feed. Today’s one was offering anyone that liked, commented and shared the post on their wall a chance to win 1 of 5 BMWs. This is an obvious scam done just to build likes to a page that can be used to sell or market other services such as premium SMS, surveys, harvest emails or promote affiliate offers.
What makes this seem like a scam?
It’s highly unlikely that a random Facebook page you have never heard of before that is not actually associated with BMW is going to give away a car. Even if the promotion was real they would require some more strict entries such as a signup form and it would be limited to a specific country or state and would not be global due to the legalities. But also the cost for transporting the prize to some winners might cost more than the value of the car and companies don’t like uncertainties like this in their marketing promotions.
The other part is that if you shared it onto your wall so only your friends could see if there would be no way the prize organisers could check on your compliance with rule 3 if you have correctly setup your privacy settings.
What about the page URL?
You can see below they have picked a typo custom URL, this is a sign they are using someone else’s brand or they have had a similar URL shut down before. This is the first warning sign that something is not kosher.
Multiple Edits to the Post & Inconsistent Dates
Facebook recently rolled out a nice little feature that makes this next part really easy to spot. You can see that the spammers have been testing different messages to see which works best or potentially what is not flagged by Facebook. Another warning sign is they are swapping around the dates for the prize draw and give away and for such a large prize they have such a short promotional window. But every Facebook marketer could learn a bit from what they are doing by creating urgency and testing messages.
Read the comments first!
You can see a whole bunch of people reading the post are calling out Bullshit on the share and win but yet hundreds of thousands more are making a serious effort to try and satisfy the page owners by following the 3 steps. There are heart warming pleas and several links and warnings to users that this is a scam yet the likes and comments continue.
Check their about us page
If this was a real promotion or company doing this they would have a lot more information and the page would likely have existed for more than 2 months. The big red flag should be the page’s about description text states “Like & Share” and the contact information is mostly missing except for a link to a page dedicated to Fast & Furious which is setup for selling illegal copies of the movie or fishing for peoples email address to sell onto other people for marketing lists. I advise you don’t visit the page but if you want to see what is on it I’ve got a screenshot PDF Version which is safe to preview.
Why Spammers do it?
People are gullible and often desperate to believe and that is what these pages take advantage of each and every time. As of now 131,330 people like this one post, it has 331,305 shares and 139,121 comments which will likely continue to grow until Facebook shuts it down and they have to do it again.
You won’t win, so don’t comment, share or like these types of posts. You encourage others to believe and you are benefiting the spammers so if you see these types of posts report it via the Facebook systems and then report their Facebook page for spam.
Do you fall for these posts?
If you aren’t so gullible what do you do when you see these posts in your news feed or on your friends Facebook wall?