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'Win a Gold iPhone' Like-Farming and Survey Scam

Outline
Message generated from an "iPhone 5" Facebook page claims that users can win a limited edition gold iPhone 5s by liking a promotional image and visiting a third-party website to claim the prize.

Getting information about Online Fraud

© Depositphotos.com/ karenr



Brief Analysis
The Facebook Page is a like-farming and survey scam. The Page is not giving away an iPhone, gold or otherwise. The goals of the scammers responsible are to substantially increase the numbers of likes gained by the page and to trick people into participating in suspect online surveys.

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Example

f you guys didn't catch the message earlier, we have TWENTY more limited edition Gold iPhone 5's to THE FIRST PEOPLE TO COMPLETE THE STEPS.

To enter:
Step 1) Like this photo.
Step 2) AND THEN to claim your free Gold iPhone visit -> [Link Removed]


Detailed Analysis


According to a message currently being shared across Facebook, users can win a limited edition gold iPhone 5s just by liking an image of the gold phones and then clicking a link to visit another website to claim their prize. The message originates from a recently created "iPhone 5" Facebook Page which promotes the supposed competition via an associated Facebook Event.

But, alas, no amount of liking or clicking will get hapless participants a gold iPhone. Or even an ordinary iPhone for that matter.    The competition is entirely bogus. There are no prizes and no winners.

The image used in the scam is stolen from Goldgenie, a website which offers specially customized luxury products, including gold, platinum and Swarovski iPhones. 

The scammers who created the fake page and its bogus promotion have two primary goals.

Firstly, they want to amass as many likes for their page in as short a time frame as possible.  Once a Facebook Page has collected a large number of likes, its owners can then use it to blast out further scam and spam messages to a larger audience. They might also sell the Page to other scammers thereby turning a tidy profit.

Secondly, they want to trick users into participating in various suspect surveys and online "offers". Those who click the link to claim their gold iPhone as requested will be taken to a website that instructs them to fill in one or more surveys as a claim condition.

Often, the surveys will require participants to supply personal and contact details, which will later be used to send them unwanted and annoying advertising offers and promotions. Fine print on the site will state that any information they supply will be shared with third parties.

Users may be also asked to supply their mobile phone number as part of an entry condition. But, users will often not realize that, by providing their phone number, they are actually subscribing to an extremely expensive text message service that will be charged at several dollars per minute. No matter how many surveys they do, victims will never get the promised iPhone.

And, meanwhile, the scammers who launched the bogus iPhone promotion will receive fees via a dodgy affiliate marketing system each and every time some one participates in a survey or takes up an offer. 

Like-farming and survey scams are very common on Facebook. Be wary of participating in any supposed competition that claims that you can win a prize just by liking and sharing.

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Last updated: December 6, 2013
First published: December 6, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Goldgenie iPhone 5 Collection
Facebook Like-Farming Scams
Facebook Survey Scams




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