Yet another scam is spreading on Facebook, this time using the tried-and-trusted technique of luring unsuspecting social networkers into clicking by pretending to be supermarket vouchers in the run-up to Christmas.
Many users are currently seeing messages like the following being posted by their friends.
Get Free £500 ASDA Voucher Now. (173 Left)
Claim your Free £500 ASDA Voucher this Christmas. Offer still open!.
You may be tempted to click on the link - especially if (like most of us) you’re strapped for cash, and if it appears that it was one of your Facebook friends who is sharing the link with you on Facebook.
However, the truth is that the person who is sharing the link with you was themselves duped by the scam - probably by one of their friends.
Of course, it’s not true that ASDA is giving away £500 shopping vouchers in what will be one of the busiest times of the year for the store. Just as it wasn’t true when earlier this year a very similar scam spread claiming that CostCo was offering $500 shopping vouchers.
If you did click on the link shared with you by one of your friends, you will end up on a webpage decorated with seasonal snowmen, encouraging you to share the “offer”, and requiring you to post something nice about ASDA.
If you need any further encouragement, the page also tells you that the ASDA gift vouchers are in short supply, and that you should act quickly (rather than engage your common sense).
Only once you have posted a comment, and shared the link with your friends, will you find that you are required to complete an online survey.
The campaign isn’t really being run by ASDA, of course, and you aren’t ever going to ever receive that £500 shopping voucher. Instead, scammers are hoping to drive traffic to their online surveys, which will in turn earn them affiliate commission - often by signing your mobile phone up to premium rate services.
Always be careful what you believe, and what you click on, on Facebook. Sadly, you cannot rely upon Facebook to properly police the scams which often spread across its site.
If you are on Facebook, and want to be kept updated with news about security and privacy risks, and tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.