Have you noticed that your email/s and social media account/s in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are getting suspicious activities? Well, it may be because your account is compromised and you may need to create a new email or change the passwords of your account because a hacker has infiltrated your personal and private space.
Lately, there has been an increase in FAKE ADS and FAKE NEWS in social media and email wherein the content is aimed at being shared willingly by the victims because of FREE STUFF or controversial news.
Here are a few of these viral fake ads circulating nowadays:
1) FAKE FREE AIRLINE TICKETS FROM PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL)
If you’ve seen the Fake Facebook Ad below and you’ve clicked or shared the link, please change your password immediately and ask your friends who may have seen the ad you shared to change their passwords as well. The link might be a way for hackers to infiltrate your account.
Philippine Airlines has issued its official statement on their social media accounts: “Philippine Airlines would like to warn its customers of a scam on Facebook claiming they could win 2 (two) out of two hundred sixty-eight (268) tickets for Philippine Airlines’ 28th anniversary if they answer a quick survey and share the post on their Facebook walls. We have reported the false Facebook ad to the proper authorities for appropriate action. The flag carrier does not condone deceptive acts that deliberately mislead consumers,” PAL said in their official statement which can be seen below.
2) FAKE FREE AIRLINE TICKETS FROM CEBU PACIFIC (CEPAC)
This is very similar to the the fake promo for Philippine Airlines, they just changed the brand from Philippine Airlines to Cebu Pacific. They also changed the “ticket” to make it appear legitimate.
Below is Cebu Pacific’s Official Statement about the Fake Promos:
Beware of a scam claiming to be a promotion authorized by Cebu Pacific Air. Please be advised that the circulating “promos” promising free ticket giveaways as rewards for completing a survey is not a legitimate Cebu Pacific contest, campaign, or initiative.
We encourage our community to remain vigilant and be careful when sharing their information with these third-party sites. We are working with Facebook and relevant authorities on this issue. Keep alerting us about accounts posing as CEB! Thanks everyJuan!
3) FAKE FREE AIRLINE TICKETS FROM AIR ASIA
Air Asia is also a victim of these viral free airline ticket scam. The fake promo is also similar to the ones above.
4) Fake Free Jollibee Chicken Joy Bucket
You may have seen it on your news feed or perhaps, you’ve even shared it with your friends. Unfortunately, it just appeared to look like the real deal because the fraudster made a Fake Jollibee Account with just a few hundreds of followers or fans. The Fake Jollibee Account on Facebook was immediately reported and removed by Facebook.
The Fake Free Promo of Jollibee was denied by Jollibee and they issued the following official statement:
5) Fake Puregold PHP5,000 Coupon
This fake promo circulated earlier this year. It said that you can claim 5k worth of items from Puregold because they are celebrating their 50th anniversary. Since it’s a substantial amount, many have fallen into the trap and clicked on it and shared it with their friends.
Puregold released their official announcement as you can see below:
6) Fake J.CO Free Donuts Promo
This fake promo circulated last year around May and June. The fraudster also made a fake Facebook account to make it look legitimate. There’s a suspicious link on it that may have been used to illegally access accounts and do phishing.
Those are just a few of the FAKE FREE PROMOS online that are circulating in social media.
Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim to these fake free promos online:
1) Don’t believe everything that you read online. Just because it looks “official” doesn’t mean it’s real. If you have already shared or clicked on the fake promo, delete it immediately from your Facebook wall and follow TIP#6 below to secure your Facebook Account.
2) Investigate and search for the official website and social media accounts of the brands/companies. Usually, these have thousands of followers, if the brand has very few followers, it must be a clone or fake account.
3) If it’s too good to be true, don’t fall for it. Who gives away 5k worth of items using coupons right? Fraudsters usually victimize people using FREEBIES or exaggerated DISCOUNTS.
4) Look out for suspicious LINKS. Don’t just click the url or links just because the ad or promo promises you FREEBIES or free stuff. Check out the official Facebook or social media account first before you click on anything to check if the promo is legitimate.
5) Follow the legitimate social media accounts of your favorite brands and companies so that you can easily ask or report promos that appear to be strange or peculiar. If you find fake promos, report them immediately to the brand or company so that they can immediately stop it from spreading and for them to issue public notices and announcements.
6) Look at the similarities of the fake promos in this blog post. They promise free stuff just by CLICKING ON THE LINK. They will lure or tempt you to click on the link because that’s how they can gain access to your accounts. If you find these promos on your walls or on your friends’ walls, immediately notify them about it so that they can protect their accounts.
7) Never give personal information, email address online unless you’re 100% sure that it’s a legitimate promotion.
8) If your curiosity got the best of you and you clicked or shared links or promos similar to the ones mentioned here, make sure that you clear the internet cache on your laptop or mobile device, change your passwords especially for Facebook, check if you have suspicious activities on your account by going to your Facebook Security Settings (https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=security).
Then check the “WHERE YOU’RE LOGGED IN” section. If you find suspicious activities such as being logged in using Android or PC, yet you’re only using an iPhone, etc., click on logout device.
It’s also a great idea to Change your Password every 3 months or less.
Also, activate the extra security options of Facebook such as alerts for unrecognized logins and two-factor notification by clicking the EDIT button and activating the option. For Alert for unrecognized logins, Facebook will send an email and a text message to you if you log in from an unrecognized device (a device you haven’t used to log in to your Facebook Account). This will alert you to change passwords, etc.
The Two-Factor Authentication will send you a code to your phone that you will need to gain access to your Facebook account after you input your password. Note though that if you lose your phone or you don’t have it with you, you might have difficulty gaining access to your account. This option is good for those with postpaid plans since if you lose your phone, you can still regain access to your previous number.
If you found this blog post useful, please share this with your family and friends to inform them and to spread awareness against fake free promos online.