On 23 February, Malaysian fans of H&M were seen sharing 'Free $500 H&M gift card' ads on Facebook
When clicking on the link, a landing page instructs you to share the page, add a comment and post it to redeem the $500 gift card from H&M
If you click to leave the page, the website triggers a popup that claims you've 'won' the prize
Suspicious fans and shoppers asked H&M on their Facebook page if the offer was legitimate. Note the various website URLs from the shared links.
As expected, H&M says that these link are NOT authorised by them
It's a known scam tactic that uses popular brands to lure vulnerable social media users
Most brands engage in that activity as part of their promotion via social media.
But it’s very different to fraudulently offering thousands of social networking users $500 gift voucher cards. If the offer were real, wouldn’t it be promoted on the real Costco Facebook page?grahamcluley.com
Who's behind this? Scammers. They take this opportunity to round people up and direct their information to other websites, which will in turn earn scammers the affiliate commission.
Why is it a problem? Submitting personal information to advertising networks the end-user is not familiar with and downloads of potentially unwanted programs.malwarebytes.org
Free voucher scams are a popular way to generate money at the expense of end-users who hand over lots of personal information in return for the promise of freebies – especially at this time of year when finances might be stretched.malwarebytes.org
The campaign isn’t really endorsed by Costco, of course, and you aren’t ever going to receive that $500 Costco gift voucher. Instead, the scammers behind it are hoping to direct traffic to websites hosting online surveys, which will in turn earn them affiliate commission.grahamcluley.com
A similar scam is also on Instagram using Zara Malaysia, Adidas Malaysia and H&M Malaysia accounts
If you’re active on instagram, you’ll have seen various reposts by your friends of accounts like this saying that if you like, follow, repost their image, you will be rewarded with all manner of freebies like vouchers, free coffee and even a free bottle of Moet for being the first 5000 or so followers on the account.lowyat.net
The premise is to get all the followers in the world, then the scammers will edit their name from something like HMMALAYSIA to something more suited to their actual business and then BAM, instant user base of 5,000++++ followers.lowyat.net
These accounts are fake. Scammers would disguise themselves as other popular brand to gain a strong following and will change the account name to their actual business after achieving their target.
Chances are, you wouldn’t be conned out of money or anything like that – but you would be made a fool, as scammers are disguising themselves as these brands in order to gain a strong following from all over the world. Once they hit their target of X number of followers, they’ll change their name to represent their actual business and that’s when you start to question, “Why am I following this random person on Instagram?”venusbuzz.com
We asked the PR for H&M Malaysia, and the response was that the only legit account on Instagram currently is the global H&M account.venusbuzz.com
If you did share it on Facebook, remove the post to break the scam cycle. Share this story to alert your friends.
If you were fooled into participating in this scam remove the message from your newsfeed, so you are no longer spreading it with your online chums. Stop making it child's play for scammers and spammers to pollute Facebook with their money-making campaigns.sophos.com
Really Wanted Those H&M Gift Cards? SAYS Is Giving Out The Real Thing