I’m seeing more and more links left on The Coupon Project Facebook wall to sites I believe to be scams, so I wanted to do a quick post to alert you. First off, let me state that I fully believe that the people leaving these links are just trying to score a freebie, and aren’t personally trying to harm anyone.
So, have you clicked on a link that took you to a “Facebook page” like this? Or maybe you’ve seen one about free groceries at Walmart?
Through a little observation, you should have a couple red flags pop up that this is NOT a Facebook site.
Red Flag #1: The Google ads in the sidebars. Facebook does not run Google ads. They run Facebook ads. DOH!
Red Flag #2: Look at the url and you’ll see you are no longer on Facebook. DOUBLE DOH!
Yup…that’s right. It’s a blogspot address. It’s a site made to look like a Facebook site. (Hmmmm…think this might infringe on Facebook’s trademark? Or Starbucks’?)
Here’s what I found at the bottom of the site….
And here’s what you’d find at the bottom of a legit Facebook page…
Now here is the part that I – and all the other Facebook page owners out there – absolutely loathe. The part about how you get your “freebie.”
Yup, that’s right. They want you to SPAM our Facebook walls with their phony link. (Or you can share it on “twiiter.” Nice.) There is no other word for what they are asking you to do. It’s SPAM. And it’s completely unappreciated by me and the other Facebook page administrators out there.
So what’s at the end of all of this? Well, I can just about guarantee you you’re not getting a gift card. But what you have done? Driven traffic to this site, so they could potentially profit off their Google ads. And if you’ve provided them any info, congratulations! Some unknown party now has your personally identifying information and who knows what they might choose to do with it.
My goal here is NOT to shame any of you if you’ve fallen for this scam. My goal here is to help bring awareness and protect you. I am outraged that people would create phony sites like these and prey on folks who are just out for a freebie. I could see how easy it might be to fall for something like this, if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Are there legitimate Facebook freebies and offers? Yes, there are! And I hope this post will help you begin to identify which may be legitimate and which you should avoid with a 10 foot pole.
I also want to let you know that any messages left on The Coupon Project wall like this will be immediately deleted in order to prevent the scam from being spread further.
Thanks for reading all, and stay safe! Now…let’s go enjoy some REAL freebies, shall we?