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.
Buying a car in Massachusetts: What consumers should know about auto insurance posted on Oct 17
If you’re thinking of buying a car, it’s important to consider how much you want to pay for auto insurance. First, understand how much insurance you need. If you are financing or leasing a new car, you will have to purchase comprehensive and collision …Continue Reading Buying a car in Massachusetts: What consumers should know about auto insurance
The Business of Cybercrime posted on Oct 12
Cyber crime can have a significant negative impact on your company if proper precautions are not taken to prevent it. Companies of any size and industry are at risk of encountering cyber attacks. It is extremely important to educate your staff on the importance …Continue Reading The Business of Cybercrime
Shop Smart this Columbus Day weekend posted on Oct 6
Christopher Columbus’ journey to the new world in 1492 is celebrated as a day to remember his epic voyage of discovery and a day to remember our heritage. Many towns hold parades or other festivities in celebration. In the consumer world, however, Columbus Day …Continue Reading Shop Smart this Columbus Day weekend