Free Apple iTunes Giftcard scam spreads on Facebook

Filed Under: Apple, Facebook, Social networks, Spam

Facebook users are being tricked into helping scammers earn money, in the mistaken belief that they will receive a free $25 Apple iTunes Giftcard.

We have seen a number of Facebook users posting messages like the following onto their walls:

Apple iTunes Giftcard scam

Free $25 Apple iTunes Giftcard
[LINK]
Limited time left, get yours now!

Clicking on the link takes you to a webpage which urges you to "Share" the message with your Facebook friends before you can go any further.

Apple iTunes Giftcard scam

You should, of course, always treat such requests with suspicion - but that hasn't stopped many people unwittingly help the scammers to spread their links far and wide across Facebook.

Apple iTunes Giftcard scam being shared

Perhaps you noticed that you still haven't been given a free $25 Apple iTunes Giftcard at this point. Instead, the scammers would like you take a survey.

Apple iTunes Giftcard scam

Clearly they have no qualms about using Apple imagery to try to trick you into believing that the campaign is endorsed in some way by Apple itself.

This type of survey scam is all too familiar to regular readers of Naked Security. The scammers earn commission for every survey they trick people into completing - and your chances of ever receiving an iTunes Giftcard are close to zero.

Apple iTunes Giftcard scam

But it's too late for your Facebook friends, as you have already shared the link with them - and so the scam spreads across the social network as users pass it on between eachother.

Of course, if you have fallen for the scam, it's a good idea to remove all references to it from your Facebook page and warn your friends not to participate in it.

Apple iTunes Giftcard scam

If you use Facebook and want to get an early warning about the latest attacks, you should join the Sophos Facebook page where we have a thriving community of over 100,000 people.

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5 Responses to Free Apple iTunes Giftcard scam spreads on Facebook

  1. Sean Sullivan · 1024 days ago

    Hi Graham,

    I searched fro “Limited time left, get yours now!” and there's also an Xbox variant using “Free 4000 Xbox Live Points” that also points to blogspot.com.

    High time that somebody call out Google on this. ;-)

    Small note:

    “Clicking on the link takes you to a webpage which urges you to "Share" the message with your Facebook friends before you can go any further.”

    Most of this stuff that I've tested lately no longer enforces the “Share” and continues even if canceled. Is that your experience as well?

    • Han van der Heide · 1024 days ago

      I've never responded to things like that, but it would make some sense, I guess. ince even if you don't share the link with your FB friends, the scammers can still try and get you to do the survey.

    • Thanks for that Sean. I'll check it out next time I investigate one of these. No doubt that won't be too long in the future. :)

  2. JelenaSm · 1024 days ago

    there are tons of gift card scams going around. Just read that Apple released an iPhone app a few days ago called Scam Detector. According to them, it exposes over 300 of the most notorious scams in the world. It might be worth checking it out, if you have an iPhone...kinda cool.

  3. TJMaz · 1023 days ago

    These scams make it hard for legitimate sites like iTunesFree.com to make it online. People see the word free and because of the scams being circulated think that the site is a scam when in fact it's a legitimate source for free itunes music.

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.