BMW M5 Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
Messages being shared on Facebook claim that "for the 1st time on Facebook", users who like a Facebook Page, share the promotional image and comment with their desired car colour can have a chance to win a BMW M5.
The Page is bogus. It is not associated with either Facebook or BMW, and the Page is certainly not giving away a BMW M5 as claimed. The Page is a like-farming scam that attempts to fool users into liking the Page and further promoting it via comments and shares. Pages with a high number of likes can subsequently be used to perpetrate further spam and scam campaigns. They may also be sold via the black market to other scammers.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Learn how to stay safe online with Hoax-Slayer's comprehensive eBook:
Messages being shared on Facebook claim that uses can go in the draw to win a BMW M5 just for liking a Facebook Page, sharing the prize image and adding a comment specifying what colour car they would most desire. Supposedly, the prize is being offered on Facebook for the first time ever.
However, there is no prize and no winners. The Page is a like-farming scam and it has no connection to either BMW or Facebook. This scam Page is just one incarnation in a series of like-farm scams that claim to be giving away expensive cars, including Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros.
The aim of these fraudulent Pages is to harvest a large number of likes in the shortest possible time. By offering expensive and desirable prizes in exchange for liking and sharing, the scammers are able to trick participants into promoting their fake Pages across the network. Many users will like the Pages and share the bogus messages in the mistaken belief that they actually have a chance of winning. And, those who comment as instructed will further promote the Pages.
These bogus marketing campaigns can work very well for the scammers. Pages that use the tactic often collect thousands of likes within just a few days of launch.
Pages with high like counts can later be used to perpetrate yet more spam and scam campaigns. Often, subsequent "prize draws" promoted via the bogus pages will involve participants in survey scams designed to trick them into divulging their personal information and subscribing to expensive SMS "services". In some cases, the scammers may try to extract personal information and money from users by pretending that they have won the promised prize.
Popular Facebook Pages can also be sold on the black market to other unscrupulous marketers and repurposed to further the new owner's specific promotional goals.
Like-Farming Pages like this one are becoming increasingly common. Such Pages are often newly created and have no posts other than the bogus prize messages.
Be wary of any Facebook Page or message that claims that you can receive an expensive prize just by liking, sharing and commenting. Do not further the aims of these scammers by participating in their bogus promotions.
Last updated: October 30, 2013
First published: October 30, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen