Message being shared on Facebook claims that UK supermarket chain ASDA is giving away £70 gift cards to users as a means of celebrating its 135th birthday.
The message is fraudulent and those who participate will certainly not receive a £70 ASDA gift card. This is a typical Facebook scam designed to trick people into spamming their friends and divulging their personal information via dodgy ‘offer’ and ‘reward’ websites.
According to this message, which is currently being shared on Facebook, you can get hold of a free £70 gift card from UK based supermarket chain ASDA. The message features an image supposedly depicting one of the free gift cards and urges you to click to ‘get yours here’.
However, the post is fraudulent and has no connection to ASDA. No gift cards are being given away.
If you fall for the ruse and click on the message in the hope of claiming your free gift card, you will be taken to a bogus webpage that has been built to look like it is part of Facebook (see screenshot below). The webpage claims that, to get your free coupon, you must first share the material on Facebook and then send a link to the bogus webpage to 15 of your Facebook friends. If you comply and follow these ‘2 simple steps’, you will play right into the hands of the scammers by promoting their fraudulent material in your name. Your friends may trust the fake prize claim because you have posted it and share the scam as well. Via this simple mechanism, these fake prize posts can spread very rapidly across Facebook, gathering in many new victims as they travel.
Moreover, even after you share and send the link as instructed, you will still not get to claim the elusive gift voucher. After you complete the outlined steps and click the ‘Get your Exclusive Giftcard’ button, a popup window will appear that claims that you must verify your entry by participating in one or more surveys or offers.
The window will contain a list of links. Clicking the links opens various ‘offer’ and ‘reward’ websites the promise the chance to win prizes in exchange for supplying your name, phone numbers, home address, and email address. But, fine print on the sites will state that, by entering your information, you are agreeing that the information can be shared with site sponsors and other interested parties. So, soon after participating, you will begin receiving phone calls, emails, text messages and surface letters that try to get you to buy various products and services you probably neither want nor need.
And, meanwhile, the scammers who created the fake ASDA post and page will earn commission fees each time somebody provides their information on one of the linked websites.
Scammers are currently churning out multiple versions of this scam each claiming to be giving away vouchers or gift cards from various well-known companies. Other recent versions have falsely claimed that Aldi, Kroger, and JCPenney are giving away free gift cards. Except for the company names and logos and other minor details such as the value of the supposed gift card, many of these scam attempts are virtually identical. The current crop of such scams are all falsely claiming that the giveaway is to celebrate the targeted company’s birthday or anniversary.
For the record, ASDA was founded in 1949, so it is not 135 years old in 2016 as claimed in the scam message. And the scam page that the message links to claims – again wrongly – that this year is ASDA’s 129th anniversary.
If one of these scam messages comes your way, do not click on it. And, let the person who shared it or sent it to you know that the message is a scam.
Last updated: April 26, 2016
First published: April 26, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
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