tech

Did You Fall For These 'Free $500 H&M Gift Card' Ads On Facebook?

All your friends should know it's a scam. What now? Read on.

Cover image via profashioneye.com

On 23 February, Malaysian fans of H&M were seen sharing 'Free $500 H&M gift card' ads on Facebook

Many sites offer freebies at this time of year. But will you actually get your hands on a bargain or will it be too good to be true?

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Image via SAYS

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

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If you click to leave the page, the website triggers a popup that claims you've 'won' the prize

Image via SAYS

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.

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

As expected, H&M says that these link are NOT authorised by them

Image via SAYS

It's a known scam tactic that uses popular brands to lure vulnerable social media users

The ASOS gift voucher scam

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Free Tesco gift card scam

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Scam for Pizza Hut vouchers

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ASDA is a hypermarket chain in the UK

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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?

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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.

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Why is it a problem? Submitting personal information to advertising networks the end-user is not familiar with and downloads of potentially unwanted programs.

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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.

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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.

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A similar scam is also on Instagram using Zara Malaysia, Adidas Malaysia and H&M Malaysia accounts

This scam has also been seen in Zara Malaysia, Adidas Malaysia and H&N Malaysia Instagram accounts

Image via lowyat.net

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.

Zara, Adidas and H&M Malaysia Instagram Scammers.

Image via venusbuzz.com

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?”

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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

H&M official Instagram account.

Image via imgur.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.

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Really Wanted Those H&M Gift Cards? SAYS Is Giving Out The Real Thing

Click here to join the real H&M Contest, brought to you by SAYS.

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