Free coffee from Starbucks and Tim Hortons? No, it's a Facebook scam

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Privacy, Social networks

As of late things have been somewhat quiet on the Facebook scam front, but today we have seen a resurgence in free voucher scams targeting both Americans and Canadians.

Tim Hortons Facebook scamA little more than a day ago a scam appeared purporting to be a free gift card for the famous Canadian coffee and doughnut shop Tim Hortons.

It asks you to like the page and to share it with your Facebook friends thanking Tim Hortons (or Timmies as it's known to some Canadians) for the free coffee.

It would appear scamming Canadians was not enough for the folks behind this scam and within a day they had branched out to include Starbucks fans.

Starbucks Facebook gift card scamThe Starbucks fraud proclaims to be a give away to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Seattle coffee giant.

It's a tried and true formula for con-artists to get your to share their scam with your friends, and then lead you to a website asking you to divulge personal information.

These scams begin with asking you for your email address with some standard legal verbiage about being 18 years old and a resident of -insert country here-. They then proceed to lead you to another form asking you to disclose sensitive personal information.

Facebook users sharing fraudUnfortunately thousands of Facebook users have been spreading the message, helping these criminals propagate their fraud. Innocent people thinking they might share a great deal with their friends are being used to social engineer those same friends.

Steer clear of these frauds and warn your friends that not even a cup of coffee comes at no cost. While both Starbucks and Tim Hortons may be trustworthy brands and offer occasional specials, be sure to only participate in contests from their own websites or stores.

Make sure that you keep informed about the latest scams spreading fast across Facebook and other internet attacks. Join the Sophos page on Facebook, where over 100,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

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39 Responses to Free coffee from Starbucks and Tim Hortons? No, it's a Facebook scam

  1. JLo · 917 days ago

    Thank you Sophos!!!

  2. ddk · 917 days ago

    So what do you do if you've already done it? I didnt give them any personal info - it only asked me share the link and provide a comment. What is the next step?

    • Delete the message from your feed, warn your friends, remove any suspicious "Likes" from your profile, mark it as spam so it might ping up the Facebook security team's radar.

      • Nic · 917 days ago

        Is there any way that it could infect you or hack your account if you only shared the link (and subsequently deleted it)?

  3. Charlotte · 917 days ago

    I already did it and got charged $10 by some guessology people who supposedly aren't even connected :(

  4. Hubert · 917 days ago

    i've done it... and gave my work address... i'm so stupid.... consequences?

  5. Laura · 917 days ago

    I provided my real address, birthday and a email used only for coupons,Everything else was fake....am I still okay?

  6. Marty · 917 days ago

    thank you common sense.. I've been saying this for years, stupid people should NOT use the internet.

  7. Megan · 917 days ago

    What happens if you gave them personal information like a phone number and mailing address?! Help.

  8. Guest · 917 days ago

    What if you clicked on the link, but did not share the link, comment or enter any personal information?

    • You should be fine. On this occasion.

      But take better care next time - because next time, it could be that the link you click on points to malware.

  9. Ixion · 917 days ago

    lol I can't believe people still believe this stuff....

  10. ruka · 917 days ago

    What happens is, if you put in an email address they spam you, if you put in a phone number you get a bunch of telemarketing calls from pakistan. I have been using that link and putting in the information of people I don't like so they get spam and bs phone calls. I suggest you all do the same.

  11. Jon · 842 days ago

    I fell for it too-put in my address and cell phone-but then that information is pretty readily available so I don't know if much is really compromised.

  12. Vicky Hodgson · 581 days ago

    Yuk...good job I boycott Starbucks then...hate their coffee anyway.

  13. Dean Winchester · 581 days ago

    Erm this ones going to be difficult as Starbucks DO do this often ...

  14. Donna Astill · 581 days ago

    I am so over gulible people liking scams all the time. I now just laugh at them.

  15. Allan Kaplan · 581 days ago

    How about the one for a $100 gift certificate? How many of those do you reckon they're giving away?

  16. Ker Njdlove · 581 days ago

    Kathy, I have 2 $5 Starbucks gift cards the company gave away FREE

  17. Christine Spurkel · 581 days ago

    why do you post an article from last year? Or is this a typo?

  18. Ron Cook · 581 days ago

    Christine, it's re-appearing on Facebook. Sophos note that in their post.

  19. Susan Sorensen · 581 days ago

    Christine, they indicated in the post they'd seen this before. Just letting you know it's surfaced - again.

  20. Amanda Ward · 581 days ago

    They are posting it again because it is being spread around again

  21. Don Hebert · 581 days ago

    Who is Tim Horton?

  22. Jane Carpenter · 581 days ago

    Who is still falling for this crap?

  23. David Inutiq · 581 days ago

    Ima T drinker. Tea times eh.

  24. Jon Richards · 581 days ago

    darn, fooled again!

  25. Jr Beader · 581 days ago

    Look out

  26. Laurens Wildeboer · 581 days ago

    Starbucks coffee is lousy, why would anyone enter that scam?

  27. Wendy Craig · 581 days ago

    Be warned

  28. Brittany Banmen · 581 days ago

    @ David- I agree with you. I've been threatened, my family has been as well by this one guy, same account everytime. I have reported him so many times as well as other people and fb hasn't done anything about it.... They need to really look into reports and stuff... Especially when it's over and over again.

  29. Christine Chocoholic Chinn · 581 days ago

    thats terrible. i dont agree that peeps are stupid. peeps are stressed cos of hard times and can be vunrable. we all been "stupid" at some point, but the peeps who con peeps are VERY good at what they do, so if we have fell for it, we shudnt be so hard on ourselves,... i am verrry caredful ,always warning folks... but when i have been tired and stressed out, i did click on somemat bad.... just be careful what u click on, .always, or like someone sed. go to web page/facebook page. and yes starbook do give away coffee, to get u hooked. yuk yuk lol.

  30. Marcus Ong · 581 days ago

    I cry everytime my friends post it

  31. Christian Bace · 581 days ago

    Seems legit. I'm going to sign up for it. Hoping my good luck streak continues, just earlier today I was the 122324 visitor to a site and I won a FREE LAPTOP! All I had to do was to give them my passport details!

    Just about to download something called "Bonzai Buddy" too!

    #arepeopelstillin2004

  32. Naomi Franceschini · 581 days ago

    I've been getting these for several days. My motto: delete, delete, delete..

  33. Anne Marie · 448 days ago

    I have no clue how I got hacked but it wont go away! I don't have any facebook apps at all, no suspicious "likes," my norton anti virus is working and up to date, and I keep changing my password and facebook settings. My account keeps inviting people to get these gift cards (and posting other things) every few days. I report it to facebook every time and it keeps happening. I never even "liked" or accepted anything starbucks related or anything suspicious at all that I can remember. Help!

    • Chester Wisniewski · 446 days ago

      In the past some folks have reported that they had a malicious plugin in their browser. You may wish to check for unauthorized plugins/extensions/addons.

  34. Karen · 261 days ago

    Anne Marie, have you checked under your 'Events' on Facebook? That's what it did to a friend of mine. She had to delete it there.

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About the author

Chester Wisniewski is a Senior Security Advisor at Sophos Canada. He provides advice and insight into the latest threats for security and IT professionals with the goal of providing clear guidance on complex topics. You can follow Chester on Twitter as @chetwisniewski, on App.net as Chester, Chester Wisniewski on Google Plus or send him an email at chesterw@sophos.com.