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The technological investigation department of the Guardia Civil are warning of yet another scam which is entrapping many Facebook users, offering gift cards for the multinational fashion stores Zara and H&M.

The posts which are distributed virally by users usually acting in good faith, offer the chance to win or obtain such prized awards as 500 euro to spend in the store, if you are lucky enough to win, but the Guardia Civil warn that these promotions are fraudulent and have no relation to the companies.

Even one of the stores, Zara, has issued a statement in response to a question raised regarding one such promotion, distancing the chain from the scam, saying, “I can confirm that this profile and this event are not linked to the official account of Zara. We are working to alert network managers about this situation”.

Experts say that one factor which is common in such scams is that the Facebook page or account has only recently been created and is fragmented from the official accounts.

In terms of the risks, the aim of these campaigns is to collect user data from those who share or click the links, one of the most recent discovered fake promotion resulting in 4,500 people becoming subscribed to a premium rate telephone service, with many finding their mobile telephone compromised and messages being sent which cost the user money every time they receive or send a message.

Aside from the premium rate subscriptions, even the less aggressive campaigns can seek out information which would not normally be shared with potential fraudsters, but the perceived protection of the internet leaves users vulnerable to disclosing this information.

In the UK, Asda, Tesco and others have all been seen in offers of this type, along with opportunities to obtain iPhones and iPads, just because their packaging is damaged.

Even seemingly innocent games can be a risk to protecting your data. Remembering the days when a banks may ask for the answer to a question that only you would know, such as “what is your mother´s maiden name?”, or “Where were you born?”, becomes wide open to abuse when a seemingly innocent post says, “Create your spy name by simply writing your mother´s maiden name and the place where you were born”, the answer “Banks Shropshire” immediately revealing the answers to those two protected questions for the whole world to see.

Either way, the advice is always the same. If it seems too good to be true, then it possibly is.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42675/

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