Update 3-6-16: We need to revisit the scams on Facebook. I'm not sure why Facebook doesn't shut them down more quickly, but they must be making money on the advertising of these bogus offers.
Look at the URL people. You'd think an "Oakley Official Site – USA" would have a better url. Like promo.oakley.com, right? When you see these photos, where you or a friend has been TAGGED, please report them. People are being taken in, they are giving their credit card numbers to these scammers, and then the hell begins. If it looks too good on Facebook (Free Southwest Tickets just for Liking this post…) it is probably a scam.
And a new semi-scam to be aware of. Those sites that will build a funny profile photo based on your friends and followers (Aka Who's Who in Your Facebook Posse?) are also marketing info scrapers. They will get a list of all of your friends and promote their product to them as well. So, while they are primarily harmless, do note that you are exposing a lot of your information and some of your friend's information everytime you do a Quiz, Top-Words, My Gang post.
Update 8-30-13: Time to bring this one back up. As Facebook delves further into allowing PROMOS by any Tom, Dick, or Harry, the scammers will be hitting us with even more offers via Facebook, Twitter, email. And back-to-school seems to be a big time for these scams. So if the FB post seems too good to be true, even with a brand you think you know and love (recent example "Two Free Tickets on Southwest Airlines"), I suggest you ignore and/or report them. They all end up with some FREE but convoluted process of entering. Even the LIKE us on Facebook or SHARE promos have a way of snaking back on you in a bad way. You know your Facebook privacy is frequently compromised, so don't give scammers more ways to get at your data. Don't OPT-IN, don't enable their FB app to access your friends, JUST SAY NO.
Looking down at the scam again, and thinking 20,000 winners, $1,000 card, wow that's $20,000,000 in giftcards. Um. Wow. That's a lot of money. A lot of Monopoly(tm) money.
Update 8-5-10: You may have received this latest version of the Facebook gift card scam. My spam increased exponentially when I entered one of these at the pressure of one of my kids. Against my better judgement. Here's what today's variety looked like in my Facebook Event Invitation section:
Update 3-29-10: The newest TARGET Facebook scam page is up. Please visit this page, and report it as abusive on the bottom left of the page. Only through action can we show both Facebook and these scam artists that this type of trash won't work. Funny they didn't even get the TARGET logo in the proper size to fit in the avatar space. (First 20,000 Fans Get A $500 Target Gift Card SCAM LINK << Do not JOIN or FAN this page.)
Update 3-25-10: The two pages (TARGET SCAM page on Facebook & BEST BUY SCAM page on Facebook) initially listed at the end of this article have been removed. Victory! Let me know if you see new scams. Thanks Facebook for at least stepping up to the plate.
Update 3-15-10: Scam of the moment Lowe's, Toys R Us, and Victoria's Secret. This company just keeps going and going. I didn't get a chance to ask the Facebook people at SXSW why they still allow this kind of company to operate on their site.
Update 3-9-10: Avatar and the iPod touch are also part of this scam company's ploy.
Here's the FB AD, that I only clicked because my son wanted to see what it did.
And of course when you click on it you get a new scam page. This one focused on the upcoming iPad release. Sure looks a lot like the BEST BUY and TARGET ads.
These days in the world of quick and disposable social media campaigns, every business has to have a Facebook campaign. And by gosh, they are so easy to start, why wouldn't every business have one?
But what if your BRAND had a Facebook page and didn't even know it? Can Facebook be used to HiJack a national brand? Let's look at the elements of the BEST BUY contest that popped up in my inbox today. (Here's the culprit: superb-rewards.net < top scam artist.)
ONE: The call to action.
So, where it might look like you are becoming a fan of BEST BUY, me thinks you are becoming a fan of: First 20,000 Fans Get a $1,000 Best Buy Gift Card!!! (I wonder if they've done one with single and double exclamation points? This is like v.3)
Now featuring 20,000 Fans Get a $500 Target Card!!!
TWO: So let's see what the INFO tab says.
Well the comments appear to be open.
At this point you might even be able to guess what's on the TARGET page.
THREE: Let's do it again.
And can you believe that Josh Winslet got his card from TARGET already too. And again Ashley, Sarah, and Allie are on board.
So that's the problem with the Facebook FAN Page system. Anyone can build one. You don't need any approvals or authority to put it up on "behalf of" or in the case "masqurading as" a large corporate entity.
Does Best Buy suffer from this kind of brand hijack? Do I trust Best Buy less as a result of the scam?
What about Facebook? Does Zuckerberg and Co. bear any responsibility for this kind of damage? Does the #1 innovative company for 2010, according to FastCompany, have any control over who does this kind of trash?
My guess is 1. they have no legal liability; 2. a page is a page and a visit is another pair of eyeballs; 3. Facebook can't possibly police every page or image pushed up to Facebook.