Image: © depositphotos.com/ Jean_Nelson
A fraudulent Facebook Page that claims to belong to popular talk-show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey is promising Facebook users the chance to win large sums of money in exchange for liking, sharing and commenting.
Posts on the fake Page include images and videos of Oprah along with photographs that supposedly depict the cash giveaways.
But, in fact, the fake Page has no connection to Oprah whatsoever and those who participate by liking, sharing, and commenting have zero chance of receiving any of the promised cash.
The scammers who created the fake Page have stolen the images and videos from other sources.
The purpose of the scam posts is simply to promote the bogus Facebook Page and collect as many new Page likes as possible. The Page may later be used to perpetrate survey scams and other types of fraudulent activity, this time to a much larger audience.
The scammers may also directly contact users and falsely claim that they have won the promised cash giveaway. If users reply as instructed, they will be told that they must pay upfront fees and provide personal and financial details before they can receive their payout.
Celebrity giveaway scams like this are increasingly common on Facebook and have used the names of several high-profile celebrities in recent months.
And, at any one time, there may be multiple scam Facebook Pages all pretending to be associated with a particular celebrity and all promising large sums of money and valuable prizes to “lucky” fans. Often, as soon as one of the fake Pages is removed, scammers will create another to take its place.
Be wary of any Facebook Page or post that claims that a celebrity is randomly giving away cash or prizes to fans. If one comes your way, do not be tempted to participate “just in case”.
Of course, many celebrities, including Oprah, do much to help the less fortunate and do give generously to charity. However, even the most wealthy and generous stars are vastly unlikely to give away millions of dollars in cash and prizes via Facebook.
Note that the genuine Oprah Winfrey Facebook Page includes Facebook’s blue “verified” icon beside the name.
Screenshots of the scam posts:
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!