Watch out! iPhone 5 giveaway events on Facebook are clearly scams

Filed Under: Apple, Facebook, Featured, iOS, Mobile, Social networks, Spam

This morning I was surprised to see that I had two Facebook invitations from people I didn't know. They both said that the person "made you a host of the event: 2012 iPhone 5 Give away, March 15 at 2012 iPhone 5 Give away."

Facebook iPhone 5 giveaway

As regular readers of Naked Security will undoubtedly recognize, this is yet another Facebook scam.

For the inexperienced scam recognizer, how can you tell?

First of all, Apple has not announced an "iPhone 5" yet, and the most recent iPhone (namely, the iPhone 4S) was announced just over 5 months ago in October, making it rather unlikely that Apple would already announce its replacement.

Second, Apple has never made any product announcement - or given away free products - through Facebook.

Third, if you make the mistake of following the link to find out more, you'll be presented with a public event page claiming

"this fb page is messing up at the moment and sending out an i Phone 5 to people that are on face book for free...all they want is your thoughts and opinions about it and you can keep it forever. But you should hurry up before they close it."

Facebook iPhone 5 giveaway

Really? A magical Facebook page is "messing up" and autonomously sending out free iPhones from the future? That doesn't quite pass the credibility test.

Don't fall for survey scams; they only waste time, lead to disappointment, and can expose your private information to fraudsters.

Facebook iPhone 5 giveaway

You can help your friends avoid this particular scam - and hopefully raise their awareness of similar scams - by sharing this article with your friends on Facebook.

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 170,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

I've posted additional details and a list of domains involved in this scam at my personal security blog, JoshMeister on Security.

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8 Responses to Watch out! iPhone 5 giveaway events on Facebook are clearly scams

  1. Melle · 952 days ago

    It would be nice to have a place here for us mobile phone users to share your articles on fb. I get you there but I can't post for my friends to see. Is this possible? Would love to be sharing. Thanx.

  2. Robert Gracie · 952 days ago

    I got invited to one of these and I know its a scam and I declined it and it hasnt bothered me since then

  3. ofijsa · 951 days ago

    Can you prevent being made the host of an event (by someone you aren't even friends with), or is that impossible to do?

  4. l-b · 951 days ago

    so, i received a message saying i'd been made a host, and i can't decline or leave the event, my only options are 'join' and 'maybe'... what should i do?

  5. linni · 949 days ago

    to all : Always decline this,
    i got this some minutes ago, searched here to see if it was legit, but i was saying maby for like 5 mintues, but then changed to not going ...
    BUT NEVER CLICK THE LINK !!

  6. Dana · 945 days ago

    I think everyone is aware that this is a scam. The question is, how do we disassociate our Facebook name from the list of hosts for the scam page? I certainly wouldn't want my account treated as a spam account because some azzhat listed me as a host without my permission.

    (reported and blocked the azzhat, but still a little concerned.....)

  7. Joan Pendley · 945 days ago

    Don't click on anything in the e-mail or notification at all - even clicking decline spreads it...

  8. jameshia isaac · 759 days ago

    it would be nice if i had one i been wanting one of these for a long time

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About the author

Joshua Long has a master's degree in IT concentrating in Internet Security and has taken doctorate-level coursework in Computer and Information Security. Josh's research has been featured by many fine publications such as CNET, CBS News, ZDNet UK, Lifehacker, CIO, Macworld, The Register, and MacTech Magazine. Look for more of Josh's articles featuring his research and musings on malware and security on his blog security.thejoshmeister.com, and follow him on Twitter and Google+.