Want to win a free iPhone 7? Who wouldn't? The latest phone from Apple is so jam-packed with awesome features that top models were out of stock before they even went on sale. So how will you get your hands on one?
Here's a hint: You won't get one on a Facebook iPhone 7 Giveaway page. Just like when we see any new phone come out, these "giveaway" pages are like-farming scams and you'll want to stay far away.
Here's how like-farming works: A fake page is posted with the goal of getting as many likes as possible, as quickly as possible. These pages will use language along the lines of "Want to win a free phone? Like this page and share this photo and you're automatically entered to win."
Once the fake page has a certain amount of likes, let's say 500,000, the scammer can then sell the page to shady marketers or anyone else that has a need for an already-established Facebook page.
Think about it, all the marketer has to do is buy the page and repurpose it. They've already got an audience of 500,000 people it gained through the fake giveaway, so that's a potential 500,000 people that can now see their products or services, whether real or fake.
--> Want to know more about like-farming? Click here to see all of the different types of like-farming scams that are out there.
This type of scam is banned in Facebook's Terms of Service page, but that hasn't stopped independent marketplaces from popping up and selling fake Facebook pages.
In the meantime, you will need to be careful about what you like on Facebook. Don't automatically click "like" on everything out of habit. You'll also need to know what to look for.
Here's how to spot a like-farming scam
- If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
- Notice the content and whether it promises anything for liking or sharing. If it does, it's a good clue that it's a scam of some kind. The same goes if you feel pushed or pressured into clicking like or share.
- Take a look at where the post is coming from. If it's from someone you don't recognize, it could be a friend of a friend or it could be a complete stranger. It would be good to find out.
- How many times has the giveaway been posted? Savvy scammers will know to post the same giveaway over a period of days in order to accumulate the most likes.
- Most bogus giveaways will claim to be giving away large amounts of expensive prizes. If there are thousands of products being given away, that's a red flag.
- Does the giveaway follow the rules? Is there a terms and conditions page? Is there an end date for the contest? Are there legal terms available anywhere on the site or a contest details page?
- Always, always, always check for misspellings and grammar mistakes. Legitimate companies pay a copy editor to make sure spelling mistakes are fixed.
- When was the page created? If it's fairly new, that's another red flag.
- Is the page verified? You'll know the Facebook page is for real if it has the verified logo, which is a blue circle with a white checkmark in it.
Ready to be put to the test? Here are a few examples I found on Facebook this morning of fake iPhone giveaways. Can you spot the red flags?
Photo 1: Notice the post was shared over a period of several days: August 12, 21, 27 and September 3. The wording was changed around, but all said pretty much the same thing: "Like the page (one in which iPhone is spelled with a lowercase p), share the photo, comment 'done' and invite friends to do the same." Notice there's also no specific end date listed and there's no blue verified logo associated with the page.
Photo 2: This one is similar to the above, only this one has more grammar mistakes. There's a missing verified logo and the post specifically says there are no rules or end date.