You are scrolling through your Facebook status updates, and suddenly you find a couple of friends who have become a fan of what looks like free food at Olive Garden. The title of the fan page, “Official Olive Garden Week, Dine In On Us This Week Only,” sounds pretty tasty.
When you go to the fan page, this is what you see:
Your $500 gift card is now $100, but that’s still a pretty good deal. Below the field that requires your e-mail address, you are told, “AmazingFreeRewards.com is not affiliated with Olive Garden® All Olive Garden® trademarks are the property of Olive Garden® and AmazingFreeRewards.com does not, in any way, claim to represent or own any of the Olive Garden® trademarks or rights. Olive Garden® does not own, endorse, or promote AmazingFreeRewards.com or this promotion.”
At this point, hopefully your scam radar is pinging like crazy. If you are still in the hunt, once you type in your e-mail address, you are asked for a bevy of personal information, including your name, address, phone numbers and birthday. This is not something you should be doing.
This scheme looks legitimate. There’s an Olive Garden logo on the Facebook page. There are testimonials in the comments section. “Danny,” for example, wrote, “man still can’t believe this actually worked! Thx.” Of course, clicking on “Danny’s” name doesn’t send you to a person’s page, it stays right on the “giveaway” page.
As of 2:30 on Monday, this Facebook page had 66,140 fans. That’s six times more than the 10,520 fans on the real Olive Garden Facebook page, where free stuff is not given out.
This is the kind of scheme that pops up more and more on the Internet, whether it is free food from a big chain restaurant or a gift card to a big retailer like Wal-Mart. Or, as Mitch Lipka at WalletPop covered last week, IKEA. You might eventually get your gift card, but only after purchasing something, and only after giving a wealth of personal information to an entity you do not know.
What teens and seniors should know about 18-65 accounts posted on Apr 25
April is Financial Literacy Month and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is offering tips on how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. It’s never too early or too late to take an interest in your personal finances. But for many, …Continue Reading What teens and seniors should know about 18-65 accounts
Tips to Reduce Your Junk Mail posted on Apr 20
Many Americans open their mailboxes to find them stuffed with envelopes bearing the names of unfamiliar or unsolicited companies. 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened. As a result, about 5.6 million tons of mail offers and advertisements end up in U.S. …Continue Reading Tips to Reduce Your Junk Mail
Buyer Beware: Why clothing ads are not always what they seem posted on Apr 20
Online shopping provides a fast, convenient platform for purchasing items without the hassle of driving to a store. However, scammers often take advantage of the popularity of the online retail industry, sending purchased products that are either not what was advertised or far inferior …Continue Reading Buyer Beware: Why clothing ads are not always what they seem