Message appearing on Facebook and being distributed via SMS claims that electronics retailer BestBuy is offering free $1000 gift cards to users who follow a link in the post.
The message is not an official BestBuy promotion. The message is a typical survey scam. Users who fall for the ruse and follow the link will first be tricked into spamming the same fake promotion to their friends by "liking" or "sharing" the bogus BestBuy promotions page. Next, they will be told they must complete a survey or offer before receiving their free gift card. Some of the "survey" pages ask users to provide personal information including name, address and contact details, ostensibly to allow them to go in the draw for a prize. Others invite them to download dubious toolbars, games or software. Still others will claim that users must provide their mobile phone number - thereby subscribing to absurdly expensive text messaging services - in order to get the results of a survey or go in the running for a prize.
No matter how many offers or surveys they complete, or what services they subscribe to, victims will never receive their promised gift cards.
The scammers who create these bogus promotions will earn commissions via suspect affiliate marketing schemes each and every time a victim completes an offer or participates in a survey. Victims may also be faced with large phone bills for unwanted mobile phone services and, because they have provided name and contact details, they may be inundated with unwanted promotional emails, phone calls and junk mail.
Last updated: July 23, 2012
First published: July 23, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer