Your privacy on Facebook has been a hot topic, and I’d like to first calm everyone down by letting them know that after I got over 200 of your emails from Facebook, I deleted them. I just wanted to actually see if this process worked, and it did.A few days ago Mr. Trucker showed me a Facebook page which was a scam. The page was named “If We Reach 1000 Fans, 100 Lucky Winners Will Receive A Free XBox 360.” Just by the title, bells go off in your head right? As the number of Facebook page likes rose, people started asking questions on their Facebook wall. “Who is the sponsor?” “Where are the rules and regulations?” and “What company is running this?”
As the Trucker and I watched this closely, we chatted about what type of scam this was. What purpose was this page and what was the ultimate goal that the page owners? Well, usually they want your information. And that’s where your email address on Facebook comes into this little web of suspense.
It is STILL possible to export emails of all your Facebook friends into your Yahoo or Hotmail. Now I am not going to explain to you how to do it as that information its readily available on the internet and because once I did it I kind of felt bad about it. I was able to easily mport 266 email addresses from my Facebook contacts into my Yahoo address book. Could you imagine how many more entries I could get into contests by using these emails? Could you imagine how many of my Facebook friends would wonder why they keep getting emails from me when they never did before? Can you imagine how many people would unfriend me if I started using those emails to vote for myself? Not to mention how many contests I would be disqualified from!
So after deleting the ill gotten email list, and saying a prayer to rid my head of bad thoughts, I went back to the scam Facebook page to check out how close they were to 1000 likes. At this point, a mini revolt was occuring. Questions about the legitimacy of the page were flying, comments were getting deleted by the owners, and posters were getting banned just by educating other members about the legitimacy of the page.
Finally, the magic number arrived – 1000 likes, and gladly just in time. The wall looked like a prison riot. They sent out a Facebook Update to all the members, and included a clickable bit.yl link to see if you were one of the 100 winners. Surprisingly, this link went to Freelotto.com where it told you CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’VE WON and you had to complete three “offers” in order to collect your prize. Those offers mostly include purchasing a product on-line. The collective moan of the group was heard around the world.
People were going ballistic at this point, realizing they had been conned the whole time. The number of likes when down to 900. This action caused ANOTHER wave of people to sign up to the page, thinking that they were just about to hit 1000 likes and win an XBox. It was a vicious circle!
This page is still on Facebook going strong and there are many others like it. Besides from trying to get sales, Trucker and I thought the page owners were also constantly updating their email address books from the hundreds of people who kept Liking the Facebook page. Its an easy source of email addresses for a unscrupulous page owner.
Remember to Report any pages that seem to be shady by clicking on the REPORT button, and remember to read the wall a bit before committing yourself to liking a page that seems suspicious.
It just might save your email from getting on another mass mailing list.
We love to hear from you and your experiences with Facebook scams – give us a comment below!
Other Interesting Posts:
Ethics of Facebook Contesting Events and Group Rooms
The Wildfire Application on Facebook
Recreating Your Facebook Contest Identity