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Royal Caribbean International 'Vacation Package' Like-Farming and Survey Scam


Outline

Facebook messages and associated Page claim that users can win an all-expenses-paid vacation package with Royal Caribbean International just by first liking and sharing and then clicking a link to claim the vacation tickets.

Facebook phising

Brief Analysis

The messages and Page are part of a typical like-farming and survey scam and have no connection to the real Royal Caribbean International. The scammers responsible aim to collect as many likes as possible for the page and trick people into promoting their bogus material via shares and comments. They also try to trick people into participating in suspect online surveys that ask them to provide their personal information.

Scroll down to read a detailed analysis with references.


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Example

After Having a wonderful year in 2013 We at Royal Caribbean International would like to Start the new year by sharing our good fortune with you our loving fans! By giving away Vacation Packages to any of our cruise locations. Which will include all expenses paid for 7 days (ROOM - SUITE & $3,500 SPENDING MONEY) for you and 3 of your friends.

To be entered to win all you have to do is the following:
1. LIKE and SHARE this photo!
2. To Claim Your Tickets Click the following link -->
[Link removed]

and that's it!

Good Luck , ~Royal Caribbean International~


Detailed Analysis

According to messages currently being distributed across Facebook, users can win an all-expenses-paid vacation package provided by Royal Caribbean International. The messages point back to a Facebook Page that purports to be an official Royal Caribbean International page.

Users are told that all they must do to win the vacation package is first like and share the promotional message and then click a link to claim their tickets.

However, the Page is bogus and has no connection to the real Royal Caribbean International. The scammers have copied logos and other material from the company's genuine Facebook Page and created a clone page by simply adding a period to the company name. 

The initial goal of the scammers is to get participants to spam all of their friends by sharing the bogus promotion. They also attempt to amass large numbers of likes for the fake page. Pages with high like numbers can later be sold on the black market or used to launch further spam and scam campaigns.

The second goal of the scammers is to trick users into participating in online surveys or offers. Users who click the link will be taken to a fake page where they can supposedly fill out a form to claim their tickets. However, a pop-up window will obscure the form and claim that users must first verify their entry by participating in one of a list of surveys or offers. But, no matter how many surveys they complete, users will never be allowed to complete the entry form, which is fake in any case.

The scammers will earn commissions via dodgy affiliate marketing schemes whenever one of their victims fills in an offer form or gives their mobile phone number at the end of a "survey".

Some of the "survey" or "offer" 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.

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.

A great many such like-farming and survey scams are currently being pushed on Facebook users. Be wary of any message or Facebook Page that claims that you can win an expensive prize just by liking and sharing. And, if any supposed competition claims that you must fill in a survey as "verification" before being allowed to enter, it is almost certainly a scam.



Last updated: January 22, 2014
First published: January 22, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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References
Facebook Like-Farming Scams
Facebook Survey Scams






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