Latest update: September 2023 | by globaleyez GmbH
Scams are everywhere, and social media giveaways are no exemption. Have you seen a Facebook raffle for the newest iPhone model? Or a 5000 € luxury vacation in a fabulous resort? And all you have to do is give your phone number, or buy a cheap raffle ticket? Well, unfortunately, if it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
But not every raffle is a scam. Here’s a guide for recognizing the ones that are.
Holidays, cars, high end luxury goods. Offering huge prizes is one of the easiest ways for scammers to get people’s attention. Who wouldn’t love to spend a week sunning themselves in the Caribbean? Or park the newest Tesla in their garage? And all this for a 5 € raffle ticket, or typing your personal information into a form?
Screenshot of Facebook raffle for iPhone 8
What if? After five minutes of daydreaming, come back to the ground and think about this logically. Which company could afford to send random raffle-winners on a luxury cruise? Or give away countless Teslas or iPhones? And even if they could afford it, would they?
Typically these types of raffles offer smaller prizes, and the ones you have probably seen are pages offering everyone that shares/signs up 100 € worth of shopping vouchers at a well known store.
Again, this would work out incredibly expensive for the company. Posts such as these have a tendency to go viral very quickly. There is no way a company could afford this. Take a look at how many times the post has been shared. Can (and would) a company really afford to give away 100 € hundreds of thousands of times?
People often believe what they want to believe, which is quite lucky for scammers. They usually make up unlikely reasons for their contests, like a batch of products that turned out to have a small blemish and are thus unsaleable, or the company launching a rebranding campaign. (These things do happen, but they rarely result in a Facebook raffle.)
One of the more believable reasons is that the organizers are looking for product testers - but even this may be false.
The little blue tick beside a company’s name means that Facebook verified the identity of a page. This means that users can trust the page is indeed what it says it is. If a Facebook page is claiming to be affiliated with a company but it doesn’t have the blue tick, it’s quite likely that the page doesn’t have a real relationship with the company.
This may not be a problem in itself; after all, what’s wrong with operating a Tesla fan page? However, if an unaffiliated Facebook page claims to have valuable prizes, that should definitely raise red flags.
It’s incredibly rare for a company to sanction others to give away their products. If they do this via a marketing or advertising agency, they will have given access to their official page. If you don’t see the blue tick, chances are this is a scam.
If the blue tick can’t help you out because the raffle is not associated with a well-known company, you can look for other telltale signs on the page. For example, does the competition have a file containing terms and conditions? Not a lot of scammers go to the trouble of actually designing that document, so its existence could tell you a lot.
In addition, you can look at when the page was established, how frequently the owners post, and how many likes (or members in case of a group) it has. If the page has a long history, features many posts in several subjects, and has a proportionate number of likes, that should indicate a legit page. However, if it was established recently, the only posts deal with this particular raffle, and has about 150 likes, don’t even think about entering.
Besides pocketing the price of raffle tickets, one of the main reasons scammers run this type of fake giveaway is to harvest people’s personal details. If you are redirected to a page to take part in the competition check the URL to see if it looks legitimate. Run it through Scamadviser to make it absolutely sure who you’re giving your personal information to.
Fake Facebook raffles have caused significant monetary loss to people all over the world. Be wary when you encounter a new online sweepstakes that promises high gain in return for a small price or voluntarily given personal data. Don’t let scammers get to you; follow the tips above to figure out if you’re being set up.