According to a post that is currently being shared on Facebook, Internet giant Amazon is giving away a free $100 coupon to EVERYONE as a means of celebrating its anniversary. The post, which features a picture of the coupon, invites you to click to “get your free coupon now”.
Post is Fraudulent — No Amazon Coupons Are Being Given Away
But, alas, the post is fraudulent. Those who participate have no chance whatsoever of receiving a coupon and the post has no connection to Amazon.
The post is yet another Facebook survey scam designed to trick you into spamming your friends with the same fake giveaway and divulging your personal information on scam survey websites.
Link Opens Fake ‘Share and Send’ Website
If you click the post in the hope of getting your coupon, you will be taken to a website that first asks you to complete a very brief survey about your Amazon shopping habits. The fake site will then pretend to check your answers before declaring you a winner and loading the page depicted in the screenshot below. The page asks you to share the giveaway on Facebook and add a comment. It then asks you to send a direct link to the scam to 15 of your friends.
If you follow these instructions, you will help to promote the scam across Facebook and expose your family and friends to the scam as well.
Final ‘Verify’ Button Leads to Scam Survey Sites
The bogus page will now “verify” that you have shared and sent links as instructed and then prompt you to click a button to claim your coupon. Clicking the button opens a window with a list of links to third-party surveys. You’ll be told that you must complete one or more of these surveys to complete your entry and receive your coupon.
The survey sites will offer you the chance to win further prizes in exchange for providing your name and contact information. But, what you may not realise, is that the information you provide will be shared with site sponsors and marketing companies. A terms and conditions clause will explain that by participating, you are giving the site permission to share your details. However, many people will not notice this clause.
You’ll Be Inundated With Unwanted Marketing Material
So, soon after participating, you will begin receiving annoying phone calls, text messages, emails, and letters peddling a range of products and services that you most likely neither want nor need.
In some cases, you may have inadvertently signed up for a very expensive SMS subscription that will charge you several dollars for every text message they send you.
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Scammers Make Money When People Submit Information
The scammers who created the fake Amazon coupon post will earn commissions each time someone provides information on one of the survey sites. So, the scammers want the fake post to spread as far as possible across Facebook. The further it spreads, the more people will likely participate and the more money the scammers will make.
Facebook is Awash With These Giveaway Scams
At any one time, there will be hundreds if not thousands of these giveaway scams being shared on Facebook. The scam messages offer many different – entirely fictional – prizes or giveaways as bait, including store coupons and vouchers, air tickets, holidays, cruises, cars, and even luxury RVs.
If one of these scams comes your way, don’t participate “just in case” it’s real. By doing so, you are just helping the scammers.
I discuss How to Recognize Facebook Prize and Giveaway Scams in another Hoax-Slayer report.
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!