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Security & privacy

Ignore this Facebook scam trying to get you to buy a ‘cheap phone’

When an offer seems too good to be true, it most likely is. A Facebook scam making the rounds is capitalizing on people looking for a cheap phone upgrade. We’re not talking about generic burner phones, either.

Read on for details and to learn how to protect yourself.

Don’t fall for this viral Facebook scam

This scam starts deceptively. Sellers use the Amazon label to make deals seem legitimate to unsuspecting victims.

These promotions claim you will receive “a special offer” from Amazon, often hawking name-brand devices for less than $10. This scam implies that these extremely affordable phones are old stock that needs to be cleared out, or they’re being sold for charity.

Don’t fall for it. It’s a scam!

You’ll be whisked away to a spoofed Amazon page if you move forward with the fake promotion. You might know something’s wrong when you see a giant timer pressuring you to make the final call. You’ll even see fake reviews and Facebook comments from bogus accounts.

Samsung S23s and iPhone 14 models are supposedly among the smartphones for sale, but we also recommend being wary of ads promoting other models. 

Amazon has spoken publicly about reports of this scam, confirming that these “deals” aren’t affiliated with the company or platform.

If you come across these ads, you may see a hastily-made video of a product unpackaging with an AI-generated voice giving more false details compelling you to buy. The unbelievable prices are a dead giveaway to the fact that they are scams.

How to avoid falling victim

Scams like these are elaborate phishing schemes. Thieves are looking to steal your money and sometimes credentials. Here are common-sense ways to avoid falling victim to phishing scams.

  • Keep your guard up – If you see a social media ad claiming to offer an item at a price that seems too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam.
  • Safeguard your information — Never give out personal data if you don’t know the sender of a text or email or can’t verify their identity. That goes for filling out online ad forms also. Criminals only need your name, email address and telephone number to rip you off.
  • Always use 2FA — Use two-factor authentication (2FA) for better security whenever available. Tap or click here for details on 2FA.
  • Avoid links and attachments — Don’t click on links or attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or shady social media ads. They could be malicious, infect your device with malware and/or steal sensitive information.
  • Use strong, unique passwords — Tap or click here for an easy way to follow this step with password managers.
  • Antivirus is vital — Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at That’s over 85% off the regular price!

Scammers can be scary, but the good news is that the power to free yourself is always in your hands. As long as you do your best to steer clear of suspicious claims and offers, criminals will never be able to get their hands on your sensitive data or steal your money.

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