The latest scam to hit Facebook, to the delight of coffee-loving consumers looking for freebies, is the enticing promise of a $50 free Starbucks gift card or a $25 free Tim Hortons gift card.
Facebook scammers are exploiting social networking users with posts reading FREE Starbucks $50 Gift Card or FREE $25 Tim Hortons Gift Card with links to a spamming Web site. Some of the scam posts seem official, with descriptions reading, To celebrate our 40th Anniversary, we are giving away thousands of $50 Gift Vouchers FREE or To celebrate our birthday, we are giving away thousands of $25 Gift Vouchers FREE.
The spam, which began circulating over the weekend in the U.S. and Canada, prompt the coffee-loving user to repost the fraudulent freebie offer and a comment saying thanks in the comment section in order to receive the free gift card. Reposting the link, which redirects the user to a variety of sketchy Web sites like starbucksrock.com, virally spreads the post in a chain reaction to fellow Facebook friends.
Estimates show that over 4,000 coffee lovers have shared the link, according to Time, though other sources report larger amounts of victims since the posts have been removed by Facebook.
The Seattle-based company sent a message on Tuesday to its 1.7 million Twitter followers, warning them of the Facebook scam offering a free Starbucks gift card.
Beware - there is a scam on Facebook offering a free $50 Starbucks Card. Don't click on it, it isn't real, Starbucks tweeted.
The same day as the scan began, Starbucks announced a new roast to its lineup, the Blonde Roast. The Starbucks Blonde Roast is a lighter-bodied coffee to complement the medium and dark roasts on Starbucks' Roast Spectrum.
Tim Hortons, which has chains in the U.S. and Canada, also fell victim to the Facebook scam warned it's reader, promising to take action.
Tim Hortons has not authorized an online promotion, allegedly offering $25 gift cards as part of a birthday celebration. We are working with Facebook to have the sites taken down. Thanks to all the fans who made us aware, Tim Hortons wrote on its Facebook page.
We strongly advise that you don't click on any freebie you see on Facebook without doing your homework, especially one that offers an unfeasible $25 or $50 giftcard. Check the company's Facebook or Twitter pages before clicking or browse the company Web site in the press room section before buying into free gift card scams.
If you have already fallen for the Starbucks and Tim Hortons free gift card scam, the best advice is to change your password for your Facebook account to avoid phishing scams.