Post being shared across Facebook claims that you can click to get a free $80 gift card from US based department store chain JCPenney.
The post is fraudulent. It has no connection to JCPenney and those who participate will not receive a gift card. The post is a scam designed to trick you into spamming your friends and divulging your personal information via dodgy ‘survey’ or ‘offer’ websites.
Get a free JCPENNEY $80 Gift Card Free to celebrate 130th Anniversary
According to this post, which is currently being shared on Facebook, you can click a link to get a free $80 gift card from US department store chain JCPenney. The post features an image supposedly depicting the gift card and claims that the company is giving away the gift cards to celebrate its 130th anniversary.
However, the post is fraudulent and has no connection whatsoever to JCPenney. Those who participate will never receive the promised gift card. Clicking the link opens a fake Facebook webpage (see screenshot below) that claims that, to get your free card, you must first share the page on Facebook and then send a page link to 15 of your Facebook friends. But, by following these ‘2 simple steps’, you effectively become a promotional agent working for the scammers who created the fake gift card giveaway. By sharing and sending the link, you ensure that your Facebook friends are exposed to the scam as well. And, if even a few of your friends fall for the scam as a result, they will share and send the material to their friends. Thus, such fraudulent prize posts can spread very rapidly across Facebook.
And, even after you share and send as instructed, you will still not get to claim the promised gift card. Instead, a popup window will state that you must ‘verify’ your claim by participating in one or more online surveys or offers. Links in the popup will open various websites that promise the chance to win further prizes in exchange for submitting your name, email address, home address, and phone numbers.
But, fine print on these sites will explain that, by participating, you are giving your permission for your personal information to be shared with site sponsors and various third-party marketing firms. Thus, you will soon begin receiving annoying phone calls, emails, surface letters, and text messages peddling all manner of products and services you most likely neither want nor need. No matter how many surveys or offers you complete, you will never get to claim the gift card which, of course, never existed to begin with.
Meanwhile, the people who created the fake JCPenney gift card giveaway will earn commissions each time somebody provides his or her information on one of the linked websites.
JCPenney has confirmed via comments on its official Facebook Page, which features Facebook’s verified icon, that the supposed gift card giveaway is not a genuine JCPenney promotion.
For the record, JCPenney was established in 1902, so 2016 is not the store’s 130th anniversary as claimed in the scam post. Nor is it 125 years old as suggested on the associated scam website
Survey scams like this one are very common. Be wary of any Facebook post that claims that you can win valuable store gift cards, vouchers, or other prizes just by liking, sharing, sending links, or participating in surveys.
Last updated: April 21, 2016
First published: April 21, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen