Facebook users continue to fall for criminal ploys claiming that they have won a large cash prize in a supposed Facebook lottery or grant.
In fact, these messages are advance fee scams designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to criminals.
Some versions even use seemingly official “Facebook Lottery” websites to further the illusion that you have won the promised prize.
How These Scams Work
The criminals use Facebook to distribute messages claiming that your name is included on a list of winners. The criminals often use cloned or hacked Facebook accounts so that the “winning list” message may appear to come from someone you know and trust.
The messages urge you to click a link to claim your supposed cash prize.
Here’s a screenshot of one such scam message:
If you fall for the ruse and click the link, a bogus “Facebook Lottery” website will load in your browser. The site features photographs supposedly depicting past winners of the prize along with information about the lottery. It also urges you to check a “Winners List” on the page. If you received the initial winning notification message, you’ll discover that your name is included on the list.
Winners are informed that the amount of money that they will receive depends on how much they are willing to pay upfront. The bogus site includes a list of these supposed delivery and insurance fee amounts:
If you see your name on the list, you are instructed to fill in a “Status Verification” form.
After you submit the form, criminals will then ask you to pay your chosen delivery fee. If you do pay, you may then be asked to pay further fees, ostensibly to allow the processing of your “prize”. The scammers may also ask you to provide a large amount of your personal and financial information. And, they may demand that you submit your Facebook email address and password, supposedly so that they can verify your prize claim.
But, of course, there is no prize, your name is not on any legitimate lottery winners list, and you will never receive the promised cash. After the scam has run its course, the criminals will disappear with your money. They may also be able to steal your identity and hijack your Facebook profile using the information you supplied.
Facebook advance fee scams take many forms. Some versions may link to bogus Facebook Pages featuring the “winners list” rather than an external website. Others may instruct you to simply reply to the message or contact an “agent” via Facebook or email to claim your supposed prize.
No matter how the scams are implemented, they are all designed to steal your money and personal information.
There is No Facebook Lottery
Bottom line? There is no such thing as a Facebook Lottery. Nor does Facebook randomly award large cash grants to its users. Any message in any format that makes such a claim is sure to be a scam. If you receive such a message, do not reply or respond. Do not click any links that it contains.
- Facebook Promotion, Lottery and Award Scams