How the scam works:
You are checking your Facebook and one of your new added contacts starts a conversation with you using the chat feature. You remember all of a sudden that you added this 'Emily Walker' as a friend about a month ago although you didn't really know her.
However, you saw her posts are decent, sometimes even funny, so you don't worry much about her. Then one day, as mentioned, she finds you online.
After starting the chat, 'Emily says she works for the promotions department at Facebook Inc. Below is a real conversation between the scammer and us. The picture in this article is the actual link she sent:
I am here to pass a vital information to you but before I proceed, I would like to know if you have been informed about your winning.
No I had no idea that FB had a lotto? I have friends who work at Head office. I have never heard them mention. Please proceed?
Oh i see.. I am delighted to inform you that your name was luckily selected among the 10 lucky winners who won the sum of $50,000.00 on the Facebook online lottery international draw. NOTE:this is 100% real and legit and the FBI are aware of this lottery promo.. You can also check this link to find the best history of the Facebook past winners: (spammy link containing the words 'winners' and 'Facebook').
Long story short, the idea is that you trust 'Emily Walker' as your Facebook friend and check the link. This is a two-way hit for the scammers. First, in a few cases, the link is compromised getting your computer infected with malware, spyware, or keylogging. Furthermore, if you believe in the existence of the lottery, she will ask you for your personal information, including your address.
Then she will proceed by saying your cheque will be sent to you by FedEx and they will contact you to pay a little fee, in order to deliver the cheque. As you can imagine, a fake FedEx employee will contact you to ask you for that fee.
How to avoid:
Although it's easy to reckon is a scam the moment your new Facebook friend contacts you, there are still many victims out there that are naive. You should know that you shouldn't accept friendship invitations from people you don't know. That's why they are called friends. Needless to say, online lottery scams are as old as the Internet. Don't click on the link and don't give personal information to anybody. This scammer just stole somebody else's picture off the Internet and use it to impersonate a respectful, corporate individual.
Always do your research online. If you are really looking to make some money through social media or reward systems, there a couple of alternatives that are trustworthy and can offer you great opportunities:
Swagbucks.com is the world's largest free online rewards program. You get paid by doing things online which you might do anyway, such as searching the web, discover products, take surveys, watch videos, or play games. You can also get free iTunes and Amazon cards. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE.
If you are into paid surveys, this is the place. GlobalTestMarket is an industry leader in online research panels, where members are invited to participate in online surveys on numerous topics, and in return are eligible for cash or regular and frequent entry into sweepstakes. Highly recommended, as they also have A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE.
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