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10/19/2011

Free Tim Hortons Facebook campaign is a scam

Security experts are warning Facebook users about a scam making the rounds, claiming to offer free Tim Hortons and Starbucks gift cards.

According to Sophos, users are asked to share the campaign with Friends and divulge personal information to the bad guys.

After being asked for an email address, users are also asked to acknowledge that they’re 18 – and to shell out some more personal details. 

Your privacy would now be blown - and so have your hopes for a free Tim Hortons or Starbucks gift card.

Then as a last seal of approval, you’re asked to add a comment thanking them for the free coffee and donuts (or something like that).

The scam is extra sneaky because it coaxes users into creating a connection of trust between their friends and the shady campaign. Nothing is better than hearing someone you know lend validity to a campaign, especially one supposedly backed by two of the biggest coffee companies in the world.

This extra ‘friend support’ gimmick creates a snowball effect and before you know it, all your friends have been duped.

Sophos recommend users only participate in campaigns from the official Starbucks and Tim Hortons websites.

Even then, use an up-to-date web browser like Internet Explorer 9 to make sure you’re not falling victim to a phishing campaign.

My grandfather used to say “Nothing in life is free,” and this scam couldn’t help prove his point any more.

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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