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.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!