Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Facebook “ Free Apple iTunes $25 Giftcard “ Scam Spreading Virally

Thousands of users worldwide are being taken to this scam whose only purpose is to earn money for the scammers. There is no free lunch anywhere, let alone the “free Apple $25 iTunes Giftcard. Victims are taken to real surveys that pay scammers money. The scam runs as follows:

Victimized users are posting messages in their walls that read:

“Free $25 Apple iTunes Giftcard
Limited time left, get yours now!”

Lets assume that you are the victim, when you click on the blue “Free $25 Apple iTunes Giftcard” link, you are taken to a webpage with an official Apple “man with the iPod” logo that urges you to follow two more “easy steps”, remember, you already clicked on one link (step 1), the second step is to click on an official Facebook “Share This” button to get your free card. When you click on step 2, you are then presented with a window with an  image of the real Apple $25 Giftcard and a Facebook “Share this link on your own wall” blue button, when the button is clicked, the Facebook interface will immediately send the same message you receive originally to all your friends, therefore propagating the scam.

The “last” step to “get your card” is step 3. Now you are presented with a window with a real Apple logo imagery so that you may think the “free card” campaign is endorsed by Apple. When victimized users click on the “finish by taking a survey” blue button, you are presented with a professional looking window that even has a “need help?” option. This window has a locked key image and is titled “Content Locked”, at this time, users should be suspicious, you followed three steps and no Giftcard yet?

Users are then told to select from three “offers” from winning an iPhone, a Mercedes or a Gucci shopping spree. You are then taken to a survey that could be on any subject. No one ever has received anything for taking the survey. What can you expect when you are taken by deception to a survey? As stated above, the surveys are real; therefore the scammer gets money for each survey taken.

To clean this mess, victims should do the following:

(1)  Go to your Facebook page and select your “News feed” and delete the related post by clicking the blue “Remove Post” button.
(2)  Notify your friends to follow the same steps.