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Facebook Rewards giveaway program: Real or scam?

Facebook members receiving messages that they have won money
Facebook
Posted at 12:01 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 17:22:05-05

CINCINNATI — Perhaps you haven't received your stimulus check? Or you are out of work, or working fewer hours?

Then a big reward from Facebook might sound like the answer to your prayers.

And it can be tough knowing if the offer is legitimate, as one Harrison, Ohio, man just learned.

The problem is that Facebook does have some legitimate rewards programs, but a "Facebook Rewards" notice of winnings in most cases is not.

Friend tells him of winnings coming his way

Hayden Schunk is a roller coaster enthusiast, and part-time theme park employee.

But traveling to theme parks is expensive, and money is tight for this young man.

"I am just working one day a week, plus I get SSI," Schunk said.

So when a good friend told him about a new Facebook program, he listened.

"He messaged me on Facebook Messenger," Schunk said, "and said, 'Did you hear about the Facebook Rewards program?' "

Facebook was awarding money to its best members, according to his friend.

"He told me he got rewarded this amount of money, so he gave me a phone number to contact," Schunk said.

So he texted the number, and heard back from a supposed Facebook executive, who said he qualified for up to $12,000 in rewards.

All they needed was some very personal information. Schunk was reluctant to share it, but since his friend said it was on the up-and-up, he went ahead.

"So I gave him my bank information, even my SSI number," Schunk said.

Offer turns out to be a scam

You may have guessed the rest by now: the Facebook "executive" was really a scammer looking to steal his money, and possibly his identity.

The person stopped responding to his texts, and disappeared.

What about his friend who told him about this program? It turns out his friend's account had been hacked.

Scam Detector.com says while Facebook has been experimenting with several different rewards programs, there is no such Facebook Rewards program that hands out thousands of dollars.

Nor is there a Facebook Lottery, another common version of this scam.

Schunk has called his bank, which is changing his account number, and helping him file a fraud report.

He now wants to warn others down on their luck that if a good friend tells you he just won a Facebook reward or lottery, don't believe it.

"So they got him scammed," he says of his friend, who it turns out had his Facebook account hacked after clicking on a suspicious link.

With a few exceptions for buyers and sellers, Facebook does not award money to users. After all, you're not paying for the service.

So delete any message about winning thousands of dollars from Facebook, so you don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money

8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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