The ‘Giveaway Piggy Back Scam’ In Full Swing 
Another blow to Australian Businesses.
Scammers are piggybacking on the shoulders of Aussie businesses and their customers through this simple yet effective online scam.
[Update] “We reported the scam page to Facebook through their reporting system, but despite submitting multiple reports, Facebook repeatedly denied the request to remove the page and associated posts. Facebook said that they reviewed the profile, but decided not to take the profile down…”
Casey Jones, Director & Head of Marketing at CJ&CO
The humble giveaway is at risk.
We’re fast approaching the festive season and Aussie businesses are looking for a way to capture a larger audience and beat rising advertising costs. The biggest sales periods are right around the corner with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years’ sales coming up.
Businesses love to give back to the community with the humble giveaway… Their customers love it too – who wouldn’t love free stuff!?
We recently ran a giveaway competition for one of our clients on Facebook and Instagram. It’s a simple, yet effective marketing strategy that digital marketing agencies use to boost brand awareness, social followers, social signals and email subscribers and reduce advertising costs.
We were a few days in, and our client was showered with love from their customers and fans.
But that quickly changed with an overseas scam syndicate targeting this business. Not only attempting to ruin this festive giveaway and scam their customers for their private information but possibly gaining enough information to gain access to credit cards, passwords and more.
And it was surprising to see how quickly they initiated the whole scam. From Facebook to landing pages, they had created a copy of our client’s pages to lure in customers.
This is how they did it
They started this entire scam from a fake Facebook page.
The fake profile then privately messaged people on Facebook, targeting people who had commented on the giveaway post. The fake profile would inform the Facebook user they had won the giveaway.
Users were then directed to this page.
Once the user clicked on the “Register” button, they were taken to the signup page, where the fake site requested their email addresses and password.
Most people still use the same password for everything. So it doesn’t take long for these people to gain access to your other accounts. (Pro tip: have a different password for everything)
In this scenario, the scammers could get access to email accounts that are often linked with bank accounts, credit cards etc.
If Facebook users provided scammers with their emails and passwords, they were then taken to a payment form. Our guess is, they weren’t encrypting these cards or keeping peoples’ private details safe.
This action may have given away the customers’ credit card details, making them vulnerable to credit card fraud.
Facebook users simply wanted to win prizes in the lead-up to the festive season and support a local business.
Luckily, we managed to end the scam before they could damage our client’s reputation though Facebook didn’t make it easy.
This incident has yet again highlighted the pitiful condition of scamming throughout Australia. Within a few days of CJ&CO launching the giveaway, scammers had built a landing page and were targeting vulnerable Facebook users.
A Warning to Aussie Consumers
Educate yourselves and be careful out there. Small and large businesses and Aussie consumers are being targeted. These overseas scam syndicates are getting increasingly better at faking websites, social pages and more. If you’re ever unsure, go to a reputable source, like the company website, give them a call, talk to someone and verify it.
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