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Too Good To Be True!

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Free Ninety Nine!

Doesn't it sound good? Oh boy! Two FREE roundtrip airline tickets to wherever you wish. All just because you just happened to be on Facebook at the right time, connected to the right friend. Have you seen an ad or been tagged on an ad like the one below on your Facebook timeline?

I hate to break this to you...but it is a scam. Perhaps you received something like this in your email inbox?

Examples: 

[Collected via e-mail, November 2011]

Receive 2 FREE Southwest Airline Tickets Today!

[URL elided]

For a limited time you can receive 2 FREE Southwest Airline Tickets good for any travel within the USA! Don't wait, this is a one time free gift offered just in time for the Holidays!



[Collected via e-mail, October 2012]

Planning for the holidays? Lucky you! Southwest Airlines is sending out thousands of complimentary flight vouchers to current Facebook users! To get yours, fly by [URL elided] to follow the on-screen instructions. Happy flight, courtesy of Southwest!

I hate to break this to you...but it is a scam as well. According to Snopes, people who follow the links to these freebies reach phishing sites (counterfeit websites) that can result in the following:

  • Clicking what appear to be Facebook "share" buttons and post comments to the scammer's site (which is really a ruse to dupe users into spreading the scam by sharing it with all of their Facebook friends).
  • Prompts to add a lot of personal information 
  • Prompts to complete lengthy surveys
  • Forced sign up (with monetary commitment) for "Reward Offers" (e.g., Netflix subscriptions, credit report monitoring services, prepaid credit cards)
  • Fine print giving permission for "marketing partners" (telemarketers) to call and text you
  • Malware
  • A Facebook "lifejacking" attack, a malicious script that takes over a user's Facebook profile without their knowledge and propagates itself to their friends' accounts as well.

...you're welcome:)
Les

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