Like millions of people out there, I have a Facebook page. I’m on it every day and I get requests to join various groups. I got a request today from a friend to join the "Free $25 Starbucks Gift Card!" group, and it looked a little fishy to me. I googled this a bit and didn’t come up with much, but I did see that there have been various scams in the past by groups claiming to be affiliated with a company when they are not. These scams generally involve going to a site and entering your information, which ends up billing you for services you never received or something like that.
The company Lululemon was pulled into a scam through Facebook when a company claimed it was affiliated with Lululemon and they were giving away gift cards. Lululemon is a company that makes high performance sports clothing and it’s based out of Canada. According to Lululemon,
Please be aware of a series of ads on Facebook and multiple other non-lululemon websites claiming to give away $500 lululemon gift cards. THESE ADS ARE NEITHER AFFILIATED WITH NOR AUTHORIZED BY lululemon.
The ads ask for your cell phone number, and then charge a daily fee to your phone. lululemon athletica does not sell (or give away) gift cards through third party vendors. If you see a gift card for sale through a non-lululemon dealer (online or offline), please do NOT give them your number.
If you have entered your number to this scam, you should call your cell phone provider to have the text messages stop and report them as spam. You can also report the ads to Facebook by giving them a “thumbs down” symbol below the ad itself. (See image below)
After seeing this scam perpetrated against Lululemon, I decided to contact Starbucks and see if this group was, in fact, affiliated with Starbucks as they claimed. After waiting on hold for about 10 minutes, the representative on the phone told me it was not an official Starbucks promotion and cautioned me against joining this group or attempting to get the free gift card. I don’t know what problems may arise from trying to get this gift card, but I don’t believe it’s worth finding out for only a $25 gift card. It could end up costing me or you more down the road.
A post by Cody Nolden also backs up my initial concerns. He has very specific reasons to avoid this potential scam, but I won’t steal his post so you’ll have to click the link if you want more. Please spread the word about this to all your friends.