Because of its size and reach, Facebook is an unprecedented tool to connect people across the globe. However, those same traits also make it an ideal platform for cybercriminals to target scams at as many people as possible. And unfortunately, these crooks often strike around the holidays to take advantage of peoples’ neediness and goodwill. That’s what happened this week when a post allegedly from the supermarket chain Kroger went viral on Christmas Eve, promising a year’s worth of groceries to four families.
“To celebrate Christmas this year we are giving a special gift of an entire year of free groceries for four lucky families that share/comment by 5 p.m. on Saturday! Best of luck and happy holidays!” the scam post read. Of course, it encouraged users to click through to a website unaffiliated with Kroger and “verify” their entries. Thankfully, Kroger caught onto the scam quickly and warned its customers
“This is a fake Kroger Facebook page,” the grocery chain wrote in response to a customer. “We are aware of this fraudulent page and are working to address this matter. We recommend not engaging with the posting, and we appreciate your patronage.”
Scams like this one are simple, but effective. They prey on people’s vulnerabilities and curiosity. And they’re all too common on Facebook. The best way to avoid them is to simply be more skeptical of links you see, and to avoid interacting with any that seem untrustworthy.