Back to Blog
Things That Make Cents

Giveaway Scams

Who doesn’t love a chance to get something just for commenting on a post or liking a photo? Social media giveaways are a popular way to engage with an audience, however, they’re also a target for imposter accounts and scammers. Both hosts and participants can be on the receiving end of a scam when it comes to social media giveaways. Here are some common red flags:

  1. It promises high-end products, luxury vacations, or excessive cash rewards without any clear connection to the host’s business or brand, take caution.
  2. It uses stolen images from other verified social media accounts.
  3. It asks for anything beyond your social media handle or email address.
  4. It lacks clear rules or terms. Legitimate giveaways have clear and transparent rules that outline how to enter, eligibility criteria, entry deadlines, and how winners will be selected. Giveaways lacking these details should be approached with skepticism.

If you decide an online giveaway seems legitimate and want to participate, you can take these extra steps:

  1. Check the host’s social media presence, engagement, and reviews. A reputable host will have a consistent online identity and a history of genuine giveaways.
  2. Follow the entry rules without over-engaging. Scammers often demand excessive engagement to increase their follower count.
  3. Never share unnecessary personal information. A legitimate giveaway should not require your financial details, social security number, or excessive personal data.
  4. Trust Your Instincts: If a giveaway seems too good to be true or raises suspicion, it’s better to skip it. Prioritize your online safety and privacy.

As the popularity of social media giveaways continues to rise, so do the prevalence of scams.  Stay vigilant and remember to trust your gut if something seems “off.” If you do fall victim to a scam call us at 1 800 660-3258, report it to the FTC and report the scam to the social media where you found it.