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Facebook Survey Scam - Eat for Free at CheeseCake Factory

Outline
Message appearing on Facebook claims that users can eat at the Cheesecake Factory for free by following a link to claim a gift card.



Analysis
The message is not an official Cheescake Factory 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 Cheescake Factory 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.

The Cheescake Factory has denied any involvement with this fraudulent promotion, noting on its Facebook Page:
There's an offer circulating on Facebook giving away $100 Gift Cards to The Cheesecake Factory. This is a scam, so please DO NOT click on the link. If you've already given the fake offer your information, you'll begin receiving texts on your cell phone from the company that is responsible for this offer. Our team is working hard to get this removed from Facebook.


Example
Eat at Cheesecake Factory for FREE! (limited time only)

[Link removed]

Cheesecake Factory is currently giving away $100.00 gift cards to all facebook users!!

Cheescake Factory Survey Scam


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Last updated: 11th December 2011
First published: 11th December 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

References
The Cheesecake Factory - Facebook