In November 2018, a new version of this Center Parcs scam claimed that you could comment and share for the chance to win a holiday for 4 people. The post purports to be from a person called “Mark Frendon” who claims to be the CEO of Center Parcs. It features images of “Mark” surrounded by golden envelopes that supposedly contain tickets for the holiday.
Facebook Page claiming to belong to UK based holiday company Center Parcs promises the chance to win a holiday in the Maldives with £2000 spending money to Facebook users who share a promotional post, add a comment, and like the Page.
The Page is fraudulent and is in no way associated with Center Parcs. There is no prize. The Page is a like-farming scam designed to accumulate large numbers of Facebook page likes as quickly as possible. Facebook Pages with high numbers of likes can later be used to perpetrate other types of scam. Alternatively, they can be sold on the black market to other scammers.
According to a Facebook Page that, at least at first glance, appears to belong to UK based holiday company Center Parcs, you can win a luxury ten day holiday to the Maldives with £2000 spending money just by sharing a Page post, commenting with the word ‘Holiday’, and then liking the Page. The Page claims that winners will be announced later in the month.
However, the Page is fraudulent. It is a like-farming scam designed to accumulate large numbers of Facebook Page likes very quickly. There is no prize and the Page has no connection whatsoever with Center Parcs. The genuine Center Parcs UK Facebook Page, which features the Facebook blue ‘verified’ tick icon, has warned users about the scam page in a recent post:
Thank you to all our fans who have made contact with us regarding the fake Center Parcs page.
We are in no way affiliated with the page called ‘Center Parcs.’ or the competition they are promoting.
The scammers who created this fake Facebook Page have been able to use a Page name very similar to that of the company’s genuine Facebook Page by simply putting a period (Center Parcs.) at the end of the name.
Like-farming scams like this one are very common. By tricking people into sharing and commenting, the scammers ensure that their bogus contest posts spread rapidly across Facebook. The post thus reaches an ever-growing pool of potential victims. And, by stipulating that participants must also like the Page, the scammers are able to quickly inflate their Page numbers.
Once a Facebook Page has gathered a large number of likes via such a fake prize scheme, it can then be reused to launch survey scams or other types of fraud, this time to a much larger potential audience. Or, the bogus Page may be sold on a very active black market to other scammers who will repurpose it for their own requirements.
Be very wary of any Facebook Page or post that claims that you can win a major prize just by liking, sharing and commenting.