Ikea gift card scam takes in nearly 40,000 Facebook users

The fake $1,000 gift card page is part of a growing trend

A scam Facebook page offering the site's users a US$1,000 Ikea gift card took in nearly 40,000 victims Friday.

It's the latest example of a new and pernicious trend on the social-networking site as scammers -- usually disreputable online marketers trying to earn review by generating Web traffic -- have flooded Facebook with these fake gift card pages over the past months.

In late March, a similar $1,000 Ikea gift card scam took in more than 70,000 victims, and just last week another scam Facebook page offering a $500 Whole Foods gift certificate was widely reported.

Friday's scam page had taken in more than 37,000 users by 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time, offering them a $1,000 gift certificate in exchange for promoting Ikea to their friends. At that time, the page was gaining new fans at the rate of about 5,000 per hour. The promotion, the page said, was only available for one day.

To participate, users must become a fan of the fake Ikea page, hosted on Facebook, and then invite all their friends to become fans. They are then directed to an affiliate marketing page hosted by GiftDepotDirect.com, where they are asked personal information such as name, address, date of birth and home telephone number.

After that step, the victim is told to sign up for two online marketing offers -- these ones with legitimate Web sites such as Netflix and CreditReport.com -- in order to claim the gift card.

The promised cards in these scams never show up, according to Audri Lanford, a co-founder of the Scambusters Web site, in an interview Tuesday before the latest scam page surfaced. In fact, the victim's personal information could be used for identity theft, or worse, her computer could be hacked. "Why people would give this [information] is beyond me, but they do," she said.

Earlier this week, Facebook spokesman Simon Axten said that fake gift cards are a small problem on Facebook, but he couldn't say how many people had become fans of these scam pages. Facebook is, however, developing an automated system to remove the pages, Axten said via e-mail. "We're quickly removing the groups and pages in many cases before they go viral."

Neither Facebook nor Ikea could be reached immediately for comment Friday.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IkeascamsFacebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?