Facebook Page calling itself ‘Mercedes Benz 2016’ claims that you can get a chance to win a Mercedes Benz by liking, sharing, commenting, and clicking a sign up button.
The Facebook Page is a scam. No cars are being given away. It is just one among a great many similar scam Facebook Pages that promise participants the chance to win luxury vehicles just for liking, sharing, commenting, and filling in surveys.
This Facebook Page claims to be giving away two 2016 Mercedes Benz cars ‘for the first time in Facebook history’. Supposedly, all you need to do for a chance to win is like the Page, share the prize post, add a comment specifying what colour car you would like, and click the ‘Sign up’ button at the top of the page to claim your entry.
However, just like all of the Mercedes giveaway Pages that have proceeded it, the Facebook Page is fraudulent. The Page is certainly not giving away any cars and those hapless Facebook users who are duped into participating will win nothing at all. The aims of the scammers who created this fake giveaway are firstly to collect as many Page likes as possible in the shortest possible time and secondly to trick people into divulging their personal information on dodgy ‘prize offer’ websites.
By accumulating large numbers of Page likes, the scammers ensure that later scam posts will reach a much larger pool of potential victims. Or, in some cases, they may sell the Page to other scammers via a thriving black market. The more likes a Facebook Page has, the more money it will likely sell for.
Clicking the ‘Sign Up’ button takes users to a webpage that list links to various ‘offer’ websites that promise the chance to win further prizes in exchange for supplying their mobile phone number. But, users who do not read the fine print may not realise that, by providing their number, they are actually subscribing to an expensive SMS ‘competition service’ that charges several dollars for every text message they send. These subscription services can quickly rack up large bills or deplete the victim’s pre-paid credit. And they will continue charging until the victim realises what is happening and unsubscribes.
Meanwhile, the scammers who created the fake Mercedes Benz 2016 giveaway Page will earn commissions each time somebody subscribes to one of the SMS competition services.
Scams like this one are very common on Facebook. Other versions have falsely claimed to be giving away many other types of luxury vehicle, often ‘for the first time in Facebook history’. Be wary of any Facebook Page or post that makes such giveaway claims. Don’t be tempted to participate ‘just in case’, as that just fosters the goals of the scammers who create these fake prize Pages.
Last updated: June 8, 2016
First published: June 8, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
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