iPhone 5 giveaways on Facebook - a scam or what?

Filed Under: Apple, Facebook, iOS, Social networks

iPhone 5Even if it hasn't been officially announced yet, and certainly isn't available to the general public (unless an Apple employee loses a test model in a bar), there are plenty of scammers out there trying to trick you into believing you can get a free iPhone 5.

Here's just a sample of the pages on Facebook claiming to be an iPhone 5 giveaway. Typically they are trying to trick you into clicking on links, driving traffic to online surveys which earns them revenue.

iPhone 5 giveaway pages on Facebook

Repeat after me :-)

* There is no free iPhone

* There is no free iPad

Very, very occasionally, you will meet people who got an iPad "for free". For example, the Naked Security team won one at this year's Security Bloggers awards when we were named "Most Educational Security blog". :-)

But for every free iPhone or iPad offered, there are probably 10,000,000 or more fake offers.

So if you simply assume ALL "free" iPads and iPhones offered online are scams, you're missing out on a one-in-a-ten-million chance. In other words, you're missing what is mathematically almost indistinguishable from nothing, zero, zilch.

But each time you enter one of these online giveaways, you could be handing over your personal information to scammers and putting money into their pockets.

And you don't want to do that, do you?

It's widely anticipated that Apple will announce the iPhone 5 sometime this month. But don't hold your breath about them offering it for free.

By the way, if you're a Facebook user and want to keep up on the latest threats and security news I would recommend you join the Sophos Facebook page - where more than 100,000 people regularly discuss the latest attacks.

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17 Responses to iPhone 5 giveaways on Facebook - a scam or what?

  1. ZTM · 1458 days ago

    I just saw on this news that someone actually did lost an iPhone 5 in a bar somewhere in California literally right after i read this. Gotta love Apple.

  2. Alex · 1458 days ago

    Thanx.Sometime i tried 2 explain it to some 20000 or so victims but they thought i was paranoid. Who's not paranoid now?

  3. Grumpy · 1458 days ago

    Okay, I know this may show my age, but this is how I see it. If you didn't send in something like 20,000 boxtops, your not getting anything for free... yea I know, no one saves boxtops anymore but Iam sure my point is still clear. There is nothing free in this life.....Nothing!!!

  4. jessi slaughter · 1458 days ago

    reminds me of the time that you guys offered a free ipad as part of your blog.. tsk tsk

    • Heh heh.. the exception that proves the rule!

      But not that we didn't offer thousands of free iPads, like most of these scams do. Seemingly they have unlimited funds. :)

  5. Sarosh · 1458 days ago

    There are similar such pages like I had one request to join a page that said " First 5,00,00,00 participants will win a free facebook hoodie. " .. this was just one of the many I can currently remember.. I'm surprised how so many people are gullible. I mean seriously? And also it's just some person who creates such events.. GET. A. LIFE. ... !

  6. Libbie · 1458 days ago

    But...but...I've been waiting FOREVER for mine! All I had to do was provide my bank information, my personal details, the name of my 37 closest BFFs, my underwear size, and send in 20 000 box tops.....waaaait a minute!!!
    I can't back that up. I only provided my underwear size.

  7. Craig · 1454 days ago

    Ah, yes Graham. But just remember that a variation to Murphy's Law states that a one-in-ten-million chance will happen nine times out of ten..... :-)

  8. K Hutch · 1248 days ago

    Getting spam texts offering free Iphone 5 from 201 668 0032 Not going to fall for that one. lol Just beware!!!

  9. I have written and warned everyone many times on there but
    they will not read...I have reported this to FB 3 weeks ago and kept
    reporting but FB have still left page there...Why?

  10. brandongaylord · 991 days ago

    well i love iphone but i hated scam that be trying to get people with.

  11. Ben · 967 days ago

    Getting spam texts offering free Iphone 5
    . Just beware!!!

  12. Logan · 961 days ago

    Hmmm the facebook page I saw that claims to be offering free iPhones only says to like their page and photos.

    I guess this could be phishing my profile for personal information, but anyone with common sense won't put sensitive information on their profile... I think all I've got there is my phone number and email address - both of which are only visible to friends anyway.

    Wonder if I'm still at risk though...

  13. idg · 914 days ago

    This scam was around a couple days ago on French FB pages. One of my teenage kids and one of his friend got it. Fortunately, they are "friends" with me on FB and I could spot it..
    I reported the pages (2 different ones) and had them unlike and remove posts from their walls.

  14. Person · 183 days ago

    Recently ,I've been watching pokemon on a site called anime skull (from my research,it's safe,and I don't need my iPad for much so I can risk it) and randomly,it will open a thing such as if an alarm for an iPad were to go off,offering me a prize ,the prizes being 500 Amazon gift card,something I forget,iPhone something,and a iPad Air or something,shipping being 2 dollars,it would at the same time open a tab to facebook,it said it would give my spot away if a little timer were to run out,I always close it,but I was curious about it,so I decided to do some research,and then I wound up here

    • Paul Ducklin · 183 days ago

      Sounds a bit like a "penny auction," where you pay a small fee to bid to enter to win a prize. So if 1000 people bid $2 to enter to win a $500 Amazon card, the operators of the "auction" make $1500...in the end, it's pretty much a lottery where there's little or no supervision of the prize draw.

  15. Johnny Winneh · 51 days ago

    Helllo fb founder... I am a regular fb user..is there any ip phone for free promo for give away??

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at https://grahamcluley.com, and is a 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. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley