Hot on the heels of similar scams involving Pizza Hut, and free coffee at Tim Hortons and Starbucks, messages are spreading rapidly between Facebook users about alleged ASDA Gift Vouchers, offering free shopping to "celebrate" the British supermarket chain's "birthday".
Here's a typical message:
Shop For FREE at ASDA - FREE ASDA Gift Card
To celebrate our birthday, we are giving away thousands of Gift Vouchers FREE - [LINK]
Unfortunately, many people take a message shared with them by their Facebook friends at face value and don't think twice about clicking on the link.
If you made the mistake of clicking on the link, this is the next webpage that you will see.
Your alarm bells should already be ringing! The webpage is very similar-looking to other "gift voucher" schemes we have seen in the past - and, as is quite normal, insists that you share the link with your Facebook friends (thus generating them more traffic) before you can be in with a chance to win the alleged prize.
If you do do what the page says, you're helping the scammers who first kicked off this Facebook campaign. You're not only helping the message to spread further but you're also helping the scammers earn hard cash. They make money the more people they manage to send to an "offers" site, as it generates them affiliate commission.
If you read the small print on the offers page it becomes clear that the so-called offer of ASDA vouchers have nothing to do with the supermarket at all, and is not officially endorsed. Furthermore, the small print reveals that they plan to share the personal information you share with them with other direct marketers who may use it to email you and send you junk mail in the post.
If there *was* a genuine birthday offer being promoted by ASDA, don't you think ASDA would have mentioned it on their own website?
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, Facebook's internal security systems are not blocking the posts or stopping users from clicking on the links, meaning the messages are spreading very rapidly.
Stop making it child's play for scammers and spammers to pollute Facebook with their money-making campaigns. You should always thinks twice about sharing links on Facebook - after all, you may be doing the bad guys' dirty work for them.
If you were fooled into participating in this scam remove the message from your newsfeed, so you are no longer spreading it with your online chums.
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