How to identify a scam Facebook promotion

Scams on Facebook pop up fairly frequently, and you’ll often see your friends sharing them! Offering high-value prizes in a Facebook ‘Like & Share’ giveaway is a fast way to gain page likes and comments. But the prizes aren’t genuine, they’re just a method of ‘like-farming’ – gaining thousands of fans to make a page valuable to scammers.

Here’s a short video to explain what like-farming is, and how you can spot a fake page.

What’s in it for the page?

It’s very difficult to encourage people to Like your Facebook page these days (Facebook terms state you’re not allowed to make a Like a requirement of entry for a giveaway!), so a page with lots of fans can be valuable to companies. They can sell the page, or use it to promote their own products or website. They may use it to send out spam advertising, or malware viruses – in the hope that people will click on them and give access to personal details, or sign up to expensive text services! This process is called ‘Like farming’, and an expensive prize is the easiest way to encourage people to like and share pages.

How to spot if a page/promotion is a scam

You may notice one or all of these features:

No information on the About section

If there’s no website listed, it’s a scam. Why encourage people to like your Facebook page if you have nothing to promote or sell?

FacebookScam_About

The linked site isn’t genuine

There may actually be a linked site in the About section – but check it out carefully. Is it live or a holding page? Is it even related to the Facebook page content? In the case of Mama’s Kitchen, their sparse site looks like a shop – but there’s no information about the company apart from photos and a PayPal button at Checkout.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 18.36.29

Are the prizes too good to be true?

If there are a huge number of desirable prizes – a hundred iPads, or five cars for example – it’s a scam. Genuine promoters don’t give away valuable prizes like these via like & share timeline promotions – they use a Facebook app or website entry form to capture data from the entrants.

Are there spelling mistakes on the page?

Spelling mistakes or a full stop in the page name or prize description are a clue to the fakes – and notice that iPhone and iPad always have a lower case i and upper case P in the names.

Is it a big brand name?

A blue tick next to a Facebook page name shows it’s an official page (note there is no official Apple page on Facebook and not all big companies have the tick to show they’re verified.) If you’re unsure, find the brand’s website and follow the ‘Facebook’ link from there to find their official page. Also check the URL (web address) of the page – if it’s full of numbers, it’s not genuine. Real pages should have the company name in the web address, eg. www.facebook.com/ThomsonHolidays

The promotion has no terms and conditions

All prize draws and competitions in the UK must have terms & conditions, and these must be easily accessible to all prospective entrants so we can read them before we decide whether to enter! If there’s no T&Cs or closing date, be suspicious.

The page has only been set up recently

Fake and scam pages don’t usually last more than a few months before Facebook takes them down. Scroll back on their timeline to see if there’s any worthwhile content on the page – if it’s 2 months old and all the posts are giveaways, it’s a fake!

What you should do

If you’re not sure a comp is genuine, DON’T enter it. Ask for advice on a comping forum or Facebook group, or check www.hoax-slayer.com to see if the scam appears there. Never give out your bank details, and make sure you have up to date anti-virus software on your computer.

And if your friends insist on entering these promotions despite your warnings, send them a link to this great Hoax-Slayer article  ‘No Harm Done?’ Think Again! – 4 Reasons Why Participating In Bogus Facebook Giveaways Is NOT Harmless

You can report a page to Facebook by clicking the More menu (three dots) then Report page.

In the pop-up choose It’s a scam. Don’t expect it to disappear straight away – there will need to be a lot of reports for Facebook to take notice!

Only a tiny percentage of online competitions and prize draws are a scam – don’t let them put you off comping! Read my Get Started guide and see my list of competition websites for the UK websites you can trust.

List of scam pages (updated March 2017)

Most fake pages will be taken down eventually – but it can take Facebook a while to do it! Here are some links to current scam pages -some of these are linked, so you may see the same fake giveaways doing the rounds.

If you know of more, please leave links in the comments – thanks!

40 Responses

  1. Christopher Thomas says:

    Christmas hope gifts – https://www.facebook.com/ChristmasHopegiftsVR4/

  2. Steph Fenimore says:

    Have any of you seen the Allesandres RV giveaway? I’m presuming that’s a scam

  3. Sam Rawson says:

    Diamond luxury and Rachael boutique are also scams don’t have links as I have blocked them

  4. Rachael Scott says:

    Thankyou, I found all the information really helpful.

  5. Siobhan Lucy says:

    Really useful information 🙂

  6. Frances Heaton says:

    Invaluable information, helpful and informative. Your information gives us lots of advice about possible scam pages. It all helps us to keep safe on the web, thanks Di.

  7. Ali Thorpe says:

    Good information, especially for those unfamiliar with entering competiitons on Facebook. The lengths some scammers will go to is not to be underestimated; there was that “new hotel” one in 2016 which sent out prizes as part of an elaborate way to gain trust. I’m not sure what happened in the end but it was a bizarre situation which I suspect made many entrants disappointed and frustrated.

  8. Megan Kinsey says:

    Thanks Di, this is really helpful. Feels like there are more and more scams every day!

  9. Ruth Pickford says:

    Seem to be more and more…thanks for the tips Di..I have your book which helps too

  10. Lady Mondegreen says:

    Great tips, I hate these scammers!

  11. sonseyface says:

    I feel this one is…..https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=cristal%20mobile%20homes%20ltd yet my friend thinks its genuine

  12. Yup_thats_my_opinion says:

    Here is another scam page.
    No one ever seem to win on this page.
    https://www.facebook.com/Guns-Knives-209063796229905/

  13. Weeteggs says:

    Ilovewallpaper.co.uk is genuine but they recently ran a comp to like and share for £300 worth of product on FB, they said the winner would be announced on instagram, loads of folk, not on instagram went on to it, started following them! They never announced a winner and the other day they put on FB, the competition is back on as the winner didn’t claim their prize

  14. pdbritmom says:

    Fashion House? they are always having give aways if you like the page, share, etc. I have yet to find a site where it actually announces the winner and awards the prize. That would actually drive 10 times the traffic to their site.

  15. Me; Comeau says:

    Her Choice Giveaway of Kitchen Appliances Hoax?

  16. CledusSnow says:

    FB doesn’t allow you to report fake pages- they only offer to allow you to block them or hide them, but not report them.

  17. Regan Ashley Jolly says:

    “World Travels” on FB. Pretty sure it’s fake. ?

  18. Liz Marshall says:

    Platinum World Travel is another one to watch out for.

  19. Geoff Mse Fortt says:

    https://www.facebook.com/National.Lottery.News/?fref=ts I have entered several comps on this page ,just checked their winners page against the facebook posts and apart from 1 all the other comps have been won by people who haven’t entered.

  20. June Gaynor says:

    On-Trend is another one. No website. They ran a car competition last week, no T&Cs. Now all traces of the competition posts have disappeared and there is a new one this week for a MAC Make up kit.

  21. TalkIsCheap says:

    Obviously fake but people still fall for it. Surprise your family/kids by winning a Thomson Holiday. (Limited Time) Just share this post then go here: http://www.thomsons-holiday.com/?comps for a chance to win a Thomson holiday. Limited time only, winners are notified. Good Luck!

  22. Mickey says:

    Trending products is another scam page.

  23. Mickey says:

    I love retail therapy page is a scam too, same thing as the trend.

  24. Alice Spence says:

    Thanks for your ongoing education

  25. Yvonne Parry says:

    Electrifying Electronics – another one…!

  26. Christine Smith says:

    Fairly sure this is one, called The Trend https://www.facebook.com/The-Trend-1657486881202221/timeline/

  27. Yvonne Parry says:

    Just spotted this one of FB, page is called UWheels. https://www.facebook.com/UWheels-1658310387773778/timeline/

  28. Claire says:

    There’s a toys r us one going round

  29. Tina Deacon says:

    I think finders keepers is Di

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