Giveaway scams are all over Facebook and the Cash app – Don’t fall for it

Scammers often target victims with imaginative plans to increase their wealth. Whether investing in cryptocurrencies or filling out forms, there will always be a snag. Pro tip: Download Kim’s eBook Cryptocurrency 101 for solid advice on how to invest in crypto.

While phishing emails and text messages are common scams, social media is also part of the criminal arsenal. One popular scheme is known as a giveaway scam. It may sound like a lot, but you probably won’t be happy with the results.

Do you think you can tell fact from fiction? Read on to see how Facebook and Instagram serve as the primary delivery method for these types of scams.

Here’s the backstory

Everyone loves a good deal, but there is no such thing as free money. Anyway, a Facebook and Instagram ad promises users $750 in Cash App rewards. It has also popped up in WhatsApp and Facebook groups.

The premise is simple: complete a short survey and you will receive a reward for your efforts. But that alone should set alarm bells ringing. According to the fact-checking website Snopes, the scam has been around since at least May of last year.

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“Most seemed to lead to short surveys in Google Docs or on pages before eventually asking users for Personally Identifiable Information (PII),” Snopes explains. As a result, criminals can commit identity fraud, launch phishing attacks or steal your social media and bank accounts with your personal information.

Also doing the rounds on Facebook and Instagram is a book-sharing program that promises the return of reading material to do just one thing.

This idea is being spread through social media and WhatsApp groups and is calling on recipients to sign up for the book exchange. All you need to do, besides providing your name and email address, is to send the names and contact details of a few friends.

You then send a book to any participant to make the book swap work, and you would receive 36 books in return. The point is that there is no guarantee that you will receive any books. Not only that, but this is an illegal pyramid scheme.

What can you do about it?

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​points out that things are going downhill fast. “This kind of gift exchange is actually an illegal pyramid scheme. Eventually, new people will stop participating or responding to the posts. Then new recruits will never get the books they were promised.” the BBB explains.

Not only would you have lost the money it costs to buy and ship a book, but you would have compromised your data and that of your friends. To stay safe, here are some tips from BBB:

Ignore plays on your emotions. Don’t fall for pleas to participate in a book swap because you’re “brightening someone’s day” or “paying in advance.” Think about it logically. Is it sustainable to give one book and get 36 in return? Offers like this are clear signs of a pyramid scheme.
Too good to be true? There’s probably a catch. We all like to get things for free, but don’t let this cloud your judgement. Keep in mind that any program that offers a large return for a small contribution is probably doing something illegal.
Guard your personal information. Never give out your name, address, email address or other sensitive information to a stranger. This makes you vulnerable to other scams and identity theft.
Report social media posts promoting pyramid schemes. If you see a pyramid scheme on social media, please report it by clicking “report post” or “report photo”.

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