Post being shared across Facebook claims that you can click to get ten free cartons of Winfield cigarettes as part of the brand’s 110th anniversary.
The post if fraudulent. No cigarettes are being given away and the post is not associated with Winfield or its parent company. The post is yet another scam designed to trick people into handing their personal information to unscrupulous online marketers.
According to a post that is currently being shared on Facebook, you can click to get yourself ten free cartons of Winfield brand cigarettes. Supposedly, Winfield is giving away the cigarettes as a means of celebrating its 110th anniversary. The post features an image depicting a “10 Free Carton” coupon along with Winfield related graphics. It urges you to click a link to get your free cartons.
However, the post is yet another Facebook survey scam. Those who click will certainly not get any free cigarettes and the post is not associated in any way with Winfield or the tobacco company that owns the brand. Nor is the Winfield brand 110 years old in 2016 as claimed in the scam post.
If you click on the post, you will first be taken to a website that gets you to fill in an utterly pointless survey about your smoking habits. No matter what answers you give, you will always be selected as a supposed winner of the ten cartons.
Next, you will be told that you must share the page on Facebook and then send a direct page link to 15 of your friends:
By insisting that you do these two steps, the scammers ensure that their fraudulent giveaway will be widely promoted across Facebook and thereby gain a great many more hapless participants as it travels.
But, even after carrying out the two steps as instructed, you will still not get to claim your free cigarettes coupon. Instead, a popup window will claim that you must verify your entry by clicking a link and completing a survey:
The links in the popup open various third-party websites that promise the chance to win further prizes in exchange for filling in surveys and providing your name, phone numbers, email address, and home address. 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, soon after participating, you will begin receiving unwanted and annoying phone calls, text messages, emails, and surface letters promoting various products and services that you most likely neither want nor need.
And, no matter how many surveys you complete, you will never get any free cigarettes.
Meanwhile, the scammers who created the fake Winfield giveaway promotion will earn commissions each and every time somebody provides information on one of the survey websites.
Scams like this one are very common on Facebook. Back in June 2016, an almost identical version of the scam promised ten cartons of free Marlboro brand cigarettes. Again, the post was designed to trick users into submitting their personal information on dodgy survey websites. Alternative versions of the scam falsely claim to be giving away valuable store vouchers, smart phones, or even luxury cars and holidays.
Be wary of any Facebook post that claims that you can win a valuable prize just by sharing and participating in online surveys. Keep in mind that, if you participate, you are exposing all of your Facebook friends to the scam and helping the scammers make money. So, don’t be tempted to participate “just in case” the promotion is real.
Last updated: September 1, 2016
First published: September 1, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen