FACEBOOK users are being warned to beware the latest online scam, which promises up to 90 per cent off top brands such as Ralph Lauren, The North Face, and Ray-Ban.
The advert, which is being shared by unsuspecting users on Facebook, lists the name of the company, how much the discounts are and links to the websites where you can access the deals.
But the websites listed don’t seem to associated with any of the brands promised and instead appear to be dodgy scam sites.
We’ve asked the retailers to confirm if they’re genuine or fake but they either didn’t comment or didn’t come back to use in time.
Facebook, however, says it is aware of the scam and is doing everything it can to remove it.
All the websites listed in the Facebook post seem to have been set up in the past year and none of them have proper contact details listed.
How to stay safe online
HERE are some top tips to keep yourself safe online – including on social media:
Protect your password
- Don’t use your Facebook password anywhere else online, and never share it with other people.
- Your password should be hard to guess, so don’t include your name or common words.
- Learn more about creating a strong password on the Facebook website.
Never share your login information
- Scammers may create fake websites that look like Facebook and ask you to login with your email and password.
- Always check the website’s URL before you enter your login information. When in doubt, type www.facebook.com into your browser to get to Facebook.
- Don’t forward emails from Facebook to other people, since they may have sensitive information about your account.
- Learn more about avoiding phishing on Facebook’s website.
Log out of Facebook when you use a computer you share with other people
- If you forget, you can log out remotely.
Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know
- Scammers may create fake accounts to friend people.
- Becoming friends with scammers might allow them to spam your timeline, tag you in posts and send you malicious messages.
Watch out for malicious software
- Malicious software can cause damage to a computer, server or computer network.
- Learn the signs of an infected computer or device and how to remove malicious software.
- Keep your web browser up to date and remove suspicious applications or browser add-ons.
Never click suspicious links, even if they appear to come from a friend or a company you know
- This includes links on Facebook (example: on posts) or in emails.
- Keep in mind that Facebook will never ask you for your password in an email.
- If you see a suspicious link on Facebook, report it.
There are also no associated companies that are easy to trace.
The sites have been mocked up with logos to look official, but looking at the FAQs and the delivery information, reveals the pages are poorly written – usually a good sign that a website is faked.
Payment mechanisms on all the websites are also unsecured, which means your card details and information could be at risk if you enter them onto the site.
And the posts on the social media platform about the”sale” seem to have been made without users’ permission, tagging several friends in the process.
There seems to have been a flurry of activity in June with several Facebook users complaining that their accounts have been compromised.
User Michelle Espiritu posted: “Hello friends! If you see a post of 2019 mid-year clearance promotion summary that says I tagged you, please disregard.
“I did not tag anyone this post. I do not even see this post in my feed or wall. I just received messages from friends that I tagged them.
“This might be a virus. Thanks. I don’t know what it is. And if you’re my friend, you know that I’m not into tagging or posting hehehe.”
Joan Browning added: “To all my friends on Facebook, I did not tag you in a post advertising Ray-ban etc- 2019 mid – year clearance promotion at 15.27 today. I was not even on Facebook at the time.
“This is now the second time – even after I changed my password. Anyone know how to sort this?”
And Michelle Clements posted: “I was hacked earlier today. If you received a ‘2019 mid year clearance promotions summary’ Facebook post from me…it WASN’T me!
“Please ignore it!! Please do not try and go into any of the urls within that post.”
It is not how the hackers are gaining access to Facebook accounts or how the virus is spreading but if you think your account has been hacked, you should report it to Facebook.
If you’ve entered your payment details on one of these sites, tell your payment provider immediately and monitor your credit report for suspicious transactions.
It’s also wise to use different online passwords for online and account and to change these regularly – follow the advice in the box above for staying safe online.
A spokesperson for Facebook said: “We are aware of this scam and our safety and security teams are using our technology systems to remove it at scale.
“We do not allow fraudulent activity on Facebook and we have taken action to proactively prevent abuse of our platform.
“This includes tripling the size of our safety and security team to 30,000 and investing in new technology.
“We would encourage people to never click suspicious links, even if they appear to come from a friend or company you know.”
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