Still haven’t won that iPad Mini or Lamborghini yet? You likely won’t.
Have you entered to win a ton of Facebook contests recently but still haven’t received your Lamborghini, iPad or Samsung Galaxy in the mail yet, even though hundreds of prizes were offered?
Well, you’re going to be waiting a very long time. Most likely you have just participated in a phony Facebook Like-Farming scam.
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The low down.
Like-Farming Pages are popping up all over Facebook. How it works is the scammer will set up a Facebook page for a certain product, such as an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy, or even high-end cosmetics, all highly-sought after items by consumers.
They steal photographs from an official website. From here they’ll set up a “contest” and say something ridiculous, such as they’re giving away 10,000 iPads because “they are not in their original packaging (or seconds)”.
Users find these pages and start Liking and Sharing them, in the hopes of winning the contest. After all, who doesn’t want free stuff?
Unfortunately, there really is no contest. The prizes don’t exist. People will keep on Liking and Sharing the page, until it has a substantial number of Likes.
This is just an example, but with over 100,000 Likes at this point, this page is considered quite valuable by scammers now, but to you, it’s worthless. From here, they’ll sell the page to other scammers or marketers. It’s really a clever scheme that is still somewhat legal.
What can be done?
How can you prevent yourself from being the target of a Facebook Like-Farming Scam? First of all check and ask yourself the following:
- Check and see if the page says “Official” company of XYZ Products. Facebook requires that any new pages must be verified, if they’re making an “Official” claim.
- How many prizes are there?
- Would any company actually give away 1000 products for free, unless it were teeny tiny sample packs?
- How would they make any money?
If they have ONE prize and you have to actually fill out an order entry before a deadline, there are rules, terms and conditions; then likely it’s legit. The truth is, the more outrageous the promises, the more likely it’s a scam.
Spot the Real from the Fake.
Which is more likely to be a legit company? It’ll be a company page that has a slow but steady increase in Likes. A fake company will resort to nefarious tactics like the ones described above to gain Likes. Or, they’ll buy Facebook Likes. One day a page will have ten likes, the next day 100,000.
What is the content of the page? Are they offering valuable advice? Product notes? Just generally chatting? Or is it a page that is claiming to have all these free prizes waiting to be given out without any other substantial information? Sounds fishy right? With this economic climate, businesses don’t have free items to just throw away.
At least with Facebook Like-Farming scams the only thing you really lose is your dignity. When you share some of these Pages with your friends, likely many have pointed out to you that they’re fake. So, you’ve really only embarrassed yourself, rather than given up valuable credit card info which happens with other types of scams.
The next time you start wondering why you haven’t received all those prizes in the mail, is time to start entering legitimate contests on Facebook instead. There are plenty of them, you just need to hunt around for them. Your IQ has suddenly increased in the eyes of your friends when you tell them to be wary of Facebook Like-Farming scams!