Circulating Facebook post claims that Starbucks is giving away free lifetime passes as part of its 44th anniversary. It urges you to click to claim your lifetime pass.
The post is fraudulent and is in no way associated with Starbucks. Participants have zero chance of getting a free lifetime pass. The post is designed to trick you into submitting your personal details on untrustworthy ‘prize offer’ websites.
According to a post that is currently being shared on Facebook, you can click to get hold of a free Lifetime Pass to coffeehouse chain Starbucks. The post claims that the company is giving away the lifetime passes as part of its 44th anniversary celebrations. It features an image depicting a Starbucks card. The post also includes the number of the passes that are supposedly left to give away.
However, the post is not from Starbucks and has no connection to the company. And, nobody who participates in the supposed giveaway will receive so much as a free Frappuccino, let alone a Lifetime Pass. Instead, the post is yet another Facebook giveaway scam designed to trick you into divulging your personal details on decidedly dodgy ‘prize offer’ websites.
If you click to claim your pass, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that features the Starbucks logo and begins by asking you to fill in a brief survey about Starbucks products. After completing the survey, the page goes through a fake routine in which it supposedly sends your answers to the Starbucks website and then analyses them before congratulating you on winning one of the passes. Of course, no matter what answers you provide, the results will be the same.
Next, you are asked to share the webpage on Facebook and then send a direct link to the webpage to 15 of your Facebook friends. After spamming your friends with copies of the fake prize post, you will then be able to click a button to get your pass.
Except, of course, that you still won’t get to claim the (non-existent) lifetime pass. Instead, you will be presented with a list of links and informed that you must participate in one or more surveys as a means of verifying your entry.
The links open various third-party websites that offer the chance to win further prizes in exchange for filling in surveys and providing your name, home address, email address, and phone numbers. But, fine print on the sites will state that, by participating, you are giving permission for your personal details to be shared with site sponsors and marketing companies. Thus, you will soon begin receiving phone calls, emails, text messages, and surface letters peddling a range of products and services.
In some cases, the survey site may simply ask for your mobile phone number. But, this time, the fine print will explain that, by entering your number, you are in fact subscribing to an expensive SMS ‘club’ that will charge several dollars for each and every inane and pointless text they send you.
Meanwhile, the scammers who created the fake Starbucks giveaway will earn money each time somebody provides information on one of the survey sites. And, to reiterate, no amount of survey filling will ever get you the promised lifetime pass.
Very similar scams have promised lifetime passes from a range of other popular eateries. If one of these scam posts comes your way, don’t be tempted to participate. Remember that it is only the scammers who win out of these bogus Facebook giveaways.
Last updated: July 15, 2016
First published: July 15, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
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!