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Xbox One, PS4 Scams Pop Up on Facebook

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 14 comments
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A screengrab from a website promising a PlayStation 4 raffle.A screengrab from a website promising a PlayStation 4 raffle.

Consumers are excited about the next generation of gaming consoles, but scammers are even more excited. Sony's PlayStation 4 launched last week, Microsoft's Xbox One will launch this week — and a deluge of scams taking advantage of the new consoles have launched as well.

The scams come from a variety of sources, reports the Security Intelligence Blog of Tokyo-based antivirus firm Trend Micro, but many of the scams appear on Facebook. Scammers create fan pages that promise raffles for free Xbox Ones and PS4s, then invite users to like and share these pages.

After following the page, users receive a link to visit a website to enter the contest. Instead of receiving a raffle ticket, however, they receive links to some run-of-the-mill survey scam sites.

MORE: PS4 vs. Xbox One: Console Comparison

These survey scams encourage users to share personal contact information, which the scammers can then sell to dodgy online marketers. Some of the scams trick users into entering their mobile phone numbers (which are sold to premium-message scammers), or even into downloading malicious software that masquerades as a necessary part of the survey process.

Spotting the scams is easy, although approximately 2,000 people have liked the bogus PS4 page, so perhaps greed is overcoming common sense. While some legitimate businesses have indeed raffled off PS4s and Xbox Ones, none of them has been a no-name survey site.

If you see a PS4 or Xbox One giveaway on Facebook, assume it is a scam unless it comes from a well-known organization. Even then, double-check the organization's Facebook page and website to ensure that it's a legitimate giveaway. If not, forget about it.

If you follow an Xbox or PS4 giveaway link and find yourself at a survey page advertising options such as "Locate your friends with your phone!" or "Find out your body's age!," you can safely assume that the giveaway is bogus. While you may have to jump through a few hoops to enter a legitimate raffle, wading through bog-standard Internet spam will not be one of them.

Finally, legitimate organizations will not ask you to download shifty software in order to participate in a raffle. Real businesses may ask users to participate through Facebook or mobile apps, but if you find yourself at third-party download sites, needing to complete surveys in order to download software, you can close the page with confidence (and run a malware sweep, to be safe).

If you do find yourself on the receiving end of one of these scams, don't worry about it too much. A standard anti-malware scan will eliminate whatever junk the scammers put on your computer. Changing your password on whatever email address you shared might be a good idea, too.

You may be lucky enough to win a PS4 or an Xbox One in a contest, but the odds are against it and cybercriminals are willing to take advantage of your desire to do so. It's probably safer to just shell out a few hundred bucks and enjoy your new system.

Follow Marshall Honorof @marshallhonorofand on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

This thread is closed for comments
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , November 18, 2013 10:18 AM
    2000 people are that stupid? Well, they are trying to get a PS4 so colour me unsurprised
  • 2 Hide
    realibrad , November 18, 2013 10:25 AM

    Everyone knows that you only apply to contests that ask for your SSN. Thats what I do and it works for me.
  • 0 Hide
    xerxces , November 18, 2013 10:26 AM
    It is only a scam if you are dumb enough to fall for it.
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    realibrad , November 18, 2013 10:27 AM

    Everyone knows that you only apply to contests that ask for your SSN. Thats what I do and it works for me.
  • 0 Hide
    ircluzar , November 18, 2013 10:32 AM
    nobody gives free xboxes or playstations or ipads for free. this has always been and always will be a scam. Just like those enlarge your penis e-mails we had in the 2000s
  • 0 Hide
    iamadev , November 18, 2013 10:37 AM
    A lot of if not all of those likes will be bought not genuine.

    These types of sites are par for the course and are hardly newsworthy. hey are reprehensible and shouldn't exist but they do and are very common.
  • 0 Hide
    Avus , November 18, 2013 10:44 AM
    i rather this than malware...
  • 0 Hide
    kinggraves , November 18, 2013 10:58 AM
    The best scam of all was the one perpetrated by Sony, as a multitude of users get a new light to signal their overworked and poorly built console is DoA. Can't wait to see the faces of the ones who bought theirs for Christmas and plan to stash it until then. Don't worry, you can have your Christmas in 4-6 weeks, after the RMA box arrives.
  • 0 Hide
    scannall , November 18, 2013 11:05 AM
    Nobody will ever give you free anything on Facebook, nor should they. No free console, no free iPad, or airline ticket or anything else. Nor will a "like send a buck to a sick kid.

    This is pretty simple stuff, but hey if it's online it much be true. Right?
  • 0 Hide
    NightLight , November 18, 2013 11:15 AM
    ofcourse there's a scam. every electronic device worth more then 300$ gets used for scams.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , November 19, 2013 1:19 AM
    "perhaps greed is overcoming common sense"
    This aint nothing new...
  • -1 Hide
    reagan_piper , November 19, 2013 6:39 AM
    my neighbor's mother makes $61/hour on the computer. She has been out of work for ten months but last month her pay was $17501 just working on the computer for a few hours. take a look at the site here...
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , November 19, 2013 7:46 AM
    My SSN is 123-45-6789

    Did I win? lol
  • 0 Hide
    HomeOnDeranged , November 22, 2013 1:46 PM
    My wife is actually, honestly, legitimately giving away a ps4 on her blog (her and a couple other bloggers together). Yes, legitimate giveaways do exist but I wouldn't trust somebody else making this claim.
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