Fake competitions on social media platforms are on the rise and are a great way for cyber criminals to make money and harvest your information. Once you like the page, your information gets shared with the person running the group and hitting the “Share” button helps the fake competition to gain more exposure and reliability. Typically, if you see your friend share something on Facebook you are more than likely going to trust the source.
So, here are some useful hints and tips to help you spot the fakes. The example I’ll be focusing on is a Cadbury Rewards Competition that I’ve seen circulating Facebook recently which is a page pretending to be the official Cadbury Dairy Milk Facebook Page.
This Cadbury Rewards post appeared on my Facebook timeline a few times over the weekend and all posts were slightly different:
- Slightly different wording
- Slightly different pictures
But they all had one thing in common…. They were not real.
As mentioned above the motivation is twofold:
- They collect your personal data when you like the page
- The pages are then sold for profit
At first glance, competitions like this page appear professional, you can expect to see lots of professional looking pictures, pictures of people who you associate with that brand (Richard Branson is on a lot of Virgin pages for example) but what you don’t see a lot of is actual content!
What you need to ask yourself is “Would you expect the real Cadbury page to only have 6,201 followers, no background image at the top and only 3 posts in total?”, the answer to this would be no.
One thing Facebook does is have a section on “Page transparency”, which is shown right at the bottom of this image.
If you click on it it will tell you a few useful things:
- If the page has ever changed name
- When the page was created
- Who the owners of the account are (if they have registered this as a formal account with Facebook)
This page was created the same day the competition was shared by one of my friends. This is always really important to check.
If the page and the competition are both new, it is more than likely to be fake!
This is the real Cadburys Dairy Milk page.
It was created on 3rd March 2009 and has 16.6 million followers. If you look through the page, there is lots of content, comments and pictures stretching back for many years…. Not a few days!
You can also check the authenticity of a page by looking out for the blue tick. This tick illustrates that the page has been certified as the official page by Facebook.
To conclude, be cautious next time you come across a competition on any social media channel and always do a background check before sharing, liking or entering any personal details.
Written by Matt Riley.