Whenever people are buzzing about a new piece of technology, online scammers and con artists aren’t far behind to exploit the phenomenon. With the launches of both Sony’s PS4 gaming system and Microsoft’s Xbox One, cybercriminals are taking to Facebook and other social media outlets to take advantage of curious users.
The scam works like so many others like it. First, the cybercriminals create a page that promises to raffle or give away a new piece of the videogame hardware. Next, they ask users to like or share their page for a chance to win. They are also prompted to visit several survey sites and input their personal information, which, of course, is then taken by the scammers and sold to shady online marketing groups. Even worse, some of the “giveaways” prompt users to download software.
Despite the relative obviousness of the scam, one PS4 raffle Facebook page already has 2,000 likes. While these scams aren’t a critically damaging security risk, they can still provide users with plenty of trouble as they may be forced to wipe their desktops and change their passwords. To avoid these scams, simply look at them with a level head. Verify offers and promotions with official websites or other legitimate channels. If no company information is readily available, then chances are you are dealing with a scam.
All too often, scammers prey on Facebook users’ curiosity (and greed) when it comes to new technology. Take a close look at any “special offers” in your newsfeed, and know that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.