Coronavirus Scam Alert
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Facebook Scammers are Exploiting the Coronavirus Pandemic

by Brett M. Christensen

Scammers on Facebook have been quick to exploit the coronavirus pandemic.

One way that they are doing this is by creating fake Facebook giveaway pages and posts that are related to coronavirus, social distancing, and home quarantine.

Like other Facebook giveaway scams, the coronavirus versions are designed to trick people into promoting fake Facebook Pages and divulging their personal information on suspect websites.

Here’s a typical example:

Coronavirus Facebook Giveaway Scam

 

The post falsely claims that Walmart is trying to make it easier for people quarantined at home due to the pandemic by giving away smart TVs.

Supposedly, for a chance to win, all you need to do is share the post on Facebook and then click a link to confirm your entry.
However, the post and the Facebook Page that published it have no connection to Walmart whatsoever and no TVs are being given away. No amount of sharing or clicking will give you a chance to win the promised prize.

If you share as instructed and then click on the link you will be taken to a bogus website that asks you to click a button to validate your entry.
Bogus TV Giveaway WebsiteHowever, clicking the button does not complete your entry as you would expect. Instead, you will be taken to a dodgy website that promises the chance to win further prizes in exchange for pricing your name, address, and contact details.

If you proceed, your details will be shared with unscrupulous marketing companies who will subsequently inundate you with unwanted and irritating promotional phone calls, text messages, emails, and letters.

The example I’ve described above is just one of several scams I have encountered that are using news of the Coronavirus pandemic in their fake giveaway stories.  Many more will likely appear on Facebook.

If one of these scams crosses your News Feed, don’t be tempted to participate. You have no chance of winning the promised prize and you will be helping scammers by exposing your Facebook friends to their fake giveaways.