Circulating Facebook post claims that you can click to get a gift card worth $80 from US retailer Kroger.
The post is fraudulent. It is not associated with Kroger and no gift cards are being given away. The post is a scam designed to trick you into spamming your friends and supplying your personal information via dodgy survey websites.
According to a post currently being shared across Facebook, you can get a free gift card worth $80 courtesy of US retailer Kroger. Supposedly, Kroger is giving away the gift cards as a means of celebrating its 138th anniversary. The post, which features an image supposedly depicting one of the free gift cards, urges you to click to ‘get yours now’.
However, the post is not associated with Kroger and it is not a legitimate Kroger promotion. No gift cards are being given away. The post is a typical survey scam.
If you go ahead and click in the hope of getting one of the promised gift cards, you will be taken to a fraudulent prize webpage designed to look like it is part of Facebook (see screenshot below). The page claims that, before getting your gift card, you must share the page on Facebook and then send a page link to 15 of your Facebook friends.
By carrying out these ‘2 simple steps’, you help to promote the scam across Facebook and expose all of your Facebook friends to the scam as well. In short, you become a spammer on behalf of the fraudsters who created the fake gift card post and page.
And, even after you spam your friends as requested, you will still not get the promised gift card. Instead, clicking the ‘Get your gift card’ button opens a list of links to various third-party survey websites. You will be told that you must verify your entry by participating in one or more of the listed surveys.
The links open sites that promise the chance to win further prizes in exchange for supplying your name and contact information and filling in surveys. However, fine print on the page will state that, by participating, you are agreeing that your personal information can be shared with site sponsors and online marketing companies.
Thus, soon after participating, you will begin receiving unwanted phone calls, text messages, emails, and surface letters that try to peddle various products and services that you probably neither want nor need.
Meanwhile, the scammers will be paid a commission each time somebody provides their information on one of the survey sites.
And, alas, no matter how many surveys you complete, you will never get one of the gift cards, which, of course, never existed to begin with.
Survey scams like this one are very common on Facebook. Scammers have used the names of many well known companies in alternative versions of the scam. Be wary of any Facebook post or Page that promises free gift cards, vouchers, coupons, or other valuable prizes just for sharing and participating in surveys.
Last updated: April 11, 2016
First published: April 11, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen