No, you can't win a free car on Facebook

I'm sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but please listen to me when I say that you cannot and will not win a car on Facebook, ever. When entrants are asked to like a page, share the post on their timeline and often say what colour car they would like if won, one would have to think why a reasonably large and upscale brand, say BMW, would give away something so valuable for a few likes and shares? Not to forget the reputation of these companies could be compromised from a single stunt is a major problem itself.

Why do scammers start these pages? "Like-farming" Facebook pages use a high number of fans to launch fraudulent activities such as malware and survey scams to a wide audience. Once the page has built up enough following, these database of unwary users can be sold on the black market and used for more targeted attacks.

So how can you identify a fake competition for free cars, jewellery or hair products? Here are some tips:

  1. Join Date
    The join date on these competition pages are usually a dead giveaway. When you notice a page has just been created within recent months and their first post is the competition, leave! Why would a large brand have just joined Facebook recently?

  2. Page URL
    Facebook pages require at least 25 likes before they're eligible for a custom URL. Some of these scammers are even too lazy to even create one - another clear indicator that a large brand's SEO and Marketing department would not have allowed this

  3. Number of Likes
    Most of the scam competitions have a small amount of likes, sometimes getting up to 50,000 (yes, that's small). Take a look at BMW for example - they have 19 million likes! Need I say more?

  4. Too good to be true?
    It is what it is.

Rest assured there are some credible competitions out there giving away make-up, beauty packages and concert tickets. But when you see a free car, do not further the aims of these scammers by participating in their bogus promotions.

In saying all that, if I win I want a red Ferrari 458.