Twitter users have become accustomed to seeing spam on the social network, whether it arrive via an @mention containing a sketchy offer, or via DM, alerting you to a bad blog or embarrassing photo of your circulating the Internet. Now, Facebook users are beginning to fall victim to scams – and not just the ones that appear as advertisements.
Over the weekend, a scam started circulating on Facebook offering a free $50 gift card to Starbucks or a free $25 Tim Horton’s gift card. Users on Facebook were posting notices of this “offer” with descriptions reading, “To celebrate our 40th Anniversary, we are giving away thousands of $50 Gift Vouchers FREE” or “To celebrate our birthday, we are giving away thousands of $25 Gift Vouchers FREE.” The link for the offer actually led Facebook users who clicked on the offer to websites that was not Starbucks, which automatically shared the link to their Facebook friends.
According to the International business times, over 4,000 Facebook users shared the link, though that number could be higher since Facebook has removed the spammy posts. If you happened to be one of the thousands that clicked on the link for either the Starbucks or tim Horton’s offer, you will want to change your Facebook password immediately to avoid your account being compromised in the future.
And in the future, reconsider the potential validity of offers that sounds too good to be true to avoid scams on Facebook. Earlier this year, Starbucks gave away free coffee in honor of Earth Day, but that offer was not only more reasonable, but was actually advertised by Starbucks. Should you think a coupon or other type of deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is – and clicking through to the “offer” will likely only do harm to your social media accounts.
What are your tips for avoiding scams on Facebook? Let us know in the comments.