Beware - 'Unsealed' Product Giveaways on Facebook
Various Pages on Facebook claim to be giving away expensive products such as iPads, smart phones and beauty products because they are unsealed and therefore cannot be sold. Participants are instructed to "like" the Page and share a photo to earn a chance to receive one of the free products.
The supposed giveaways are bogus. Nobody ever receives the promised free products, which do not exist to begin with. The Pages are designed to amass very large numbers of likes under false pretenses so that they can be sold to unscrupulous Internet marketers or used to distribute further scams. Any claim that a company is giving away large amounts of expensive products just because they are unsealed is likely to be a lie. If you see one of these scam messages, do not click any links that it contains. Do not like or share the material.
In recent months, Facebook has been inundated with increasing numbers of bogus "like and share to win" Pages. Typically, these fake Pages offer users the chance to receive expensive items such as smart phones, head phones, iPads or beauty products for free. Users are instructed to like the Page and share an image of the product supposedly being given away for their chance to "win". Hopeful participants are told that winners will be chosen at random.
However, no amount of "liking" and "sharing" will ever result in the promised free product. The scammers operating these bogus pages have no intention whatsoever of giving participants any prizes. In fact, they do not have any products to give away.
The purpose of such pages is simply to collect large numbers of Page likes
and promote themselves further via Facebook shares. The more successful of these fake promotions can amass hundreds of thousands of likes for a Page in just a few days. Once a Page has gained a large number of likes, the scammer who created it can sell it via the black market to other scammers, who will subsequently change its focus and use it to promote various products or services to a large audience. Or, the page can be used to launch further scam and spam campigns.
One tactic that is currently popular among the Facebook scammer fraternity is to claim that
the products cannot be sold because they are unsealed and therefore must be given away. However, this claim is simply nonsense. No company is ever likely to give away hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of brand new products simply because their packaging has been opened. Ironically, some of the product pictures used in these scams show fully intact packaging anyway. The claim is clearly a rather lame ruse to trick the unwary into believing that they can actually get an expensive product for free just for liking a Page.
A number of Facebook users tend to participate in such bogus promotions "just in case it IS true". This might seem a harmless enough attitude at first blush. But, remember if you do participate, you will be lining the pockets of unethical and immoral users who do not deserve to profit from your activities. You will also be helping to ensure that more and more of these scam Pages clutter our networks. By liking and sharing, you will be promoting the scam pages to all of your online friends. And making yourself look decidedly foolish and gullible into the bargain
The increasing number of scams, spam and outright nonsense being pushed across Facebook is making the network less usable and less attractive by the day. In this writer's opinion, it is high time Facebook stepped up and took some real action to curtail these scams and clean up their network. In the meantime, you can help by ensuring that you do not participate in these dodgy giveaway pages and by letting your friends know abouts such scams.
Last updated: September 28, 2015
First published: March 21, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen