Hey friends, I got a $1000 Gift Card from WALMART as a Christmas Gift! Get it right away! -> (Link)
The Facebook message, posted on wall claims that the user got a $1000 Gift Card from Walmart as a Christmas Gift, and asks to get yours by clicking the link given. These messages have been circulating in several variants since November 2011, even through emails. However, these are simply hoax messages and scams intended to complete surveys, and sometimes even prompt you to install malicious programs.
The message in question comes with a link that uses URL service anonym[dot]to, a web service to link to other sites anonymously. The users who clicked on the link will be be misled by Walmart Christmas gift card, asking their personal information, and then will be directed to various online offers and surveys. In some cases, this process can get malicious, when scammers offer you to download files like .exe disguised as gift card application. Moreover, the message is shared by a Facebook app called Walmart Local, which is NOT the official page listed on Walmart Facebook page here.
Walmart also reported about this gift card scam on their corporate website, saying:
“There has been a recent increase in the number of offers for “free” Walmart gift cards on Facebook. These offers are not associated with Walmart. Walmart does not offer gift cards as prizes on Facebook or other social networking sites. These offers are frequently part of a scam and may contain malware or use your information on Facebook for marketing purposes.”
Following such numerous related scams and sponsors, Walmart has set clear guidelines for their customers, making it clear that they do not participate in any kind of sponsored offers or surveys. You can read all about it from the reference section below.
Typical Facebook scams like this will first trick the user into sharing a Facebook page or website, thereby inviting their Facebook friends and social contacts to the same scam. The next step of the scam is to lure the user with free gift cards or coupons and then mislead him to various online offers and surveys. Clearly, there won’t be any free gift card, but for loss of time spent and possible malicious attempts.
Therefore, Facebook users must be beware of clicking unknown links, especially when they come with catchy offers like these.
Hoax or Fact:
Hoax, and a Scam.