Facebook Scam - 'Powerball Free $1 Million Jackpot'
According to a post that is currently being shared across Facebook, lottery game Powerball is giving users free chances to win an instant jackpot of 1 million dollars. The post urges you to click to 'try your luck now'.
However, the post is not associated with Powerball in any way and it is not giving away million dollar jackpot tickets as claimed.
In fact, the post is yet another Facebook survey scam designed to trick you into spamming your friends and providing your personal information via various third-party 'survey' websites. There are no prizes and no winners other than the scammers who created the fake campaign.
If you click the post in the hope of getting your free entry, you will be taken to a fake Facebook webpage that instructs you to firstly share the page with your friends and then send a link to the page to five Facebook groups. The page supposedly includes a mechanism that checks that you have complied with these two requirements before allowing you to proceed. If you click the 'claim your prize' link, an alert will inform you that you have not yet completed the necessary steps.
In reality, the fake page is not doing any checking at all. After a few minutes of fake checking, the page will automatically redirect to an equally fake 'claim' website even if you have not carried out the steps as instructed.
But, by the time that the page redirects, many victims will have already shared it and posted the link to various groups. By tricking people into sharing and posting the fake page, those responsible for the scam ensure that their bogus prize post will reach an ever increasing audience of potential victims. Thus, if you share and post as instructed, you are in fact spamming on behalf of the scammers.
And, even when you finally arrive at the supposed claim page, you will still not get your free Powerball entry. Instead, a popup 'Powerball Verification' window will claim that you must click a link to complete a survey to claim your prize.
The links open third-party websites that offer further prizes in exchange for filling in surveys and supplying your name, address, and phone details. But, fine print on the pages will inform you that the information you supply will be shared with 'site sponsors' and online marketers. Thus, after participating, you will begin receiving unwanted and annoying phone calls, emails, and surface mail letters from companies trying to sell you various products and services.
Alternatively, the survey site may attempt to trick you into subscribing to very expensive SMS services that will charge you several dollars per message they send and can be very difficult to unsubscribe from.
And, no matter how many surveys you complete, you will never get the promised Powerball entry.
Meanwhile, the scammers operating the fraudulent Powerball giveaway will earn commissions each and every time somebody participates in a survey.
Like-farming and survey scams like this one are very common and continue to plague Facebook users. Be very wary of any post or Page that claims that you can win valuable prizes just by liking, sharing, and participating in online surveys.
Last updated: October 21, 2015
First published: October 21, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
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