iPhone 5 giveaways on Facebook – a scam or what?

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

iPhone 5Even if it hasn’t been officially announced yet, and certainly isn’t available to the general public (unless an Apple employee loses a test model in a bar), there are plenty of scammers out there trying to trick you into believing you can get a free iPhone 5.

Here’s just a sample of the pages on Facebook claiming to be an iPhone 5 giveaway. Typically they are trying to trick you into clicking on links, driving traffic to online surveys which earns them revenue.

iPhone 5 giveaway pages on Facebook

Repeat after me :-)

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* There is no free iPhone

* There is no free iPad

Very, very occasionally, you will meet people who got an iPad “for free”. For example, the Naked Security team won one at this year’s Security Bloggers awards when we were named “Most Educational Security blog”. :-)

But for every free iPhone or iPad offered, there are probably 10,000,000 or more fake offers.

So if you simply assume ALL “free” iPads and iPhones offered online are scams, you’re missing out on a one-in-a-ten-million chance. In other words, you’re missing what is mathematically almost indistinguishable from nothing, zero, zilch.

But each time you enter one of these online giveaways, you could be handing over your personal information to scammers and putting money into their pockets.

And you don’t want to do that, do you?

It’s widely anticipated that Apple will announce the iPhone 5 sometime this month. But don’t hold your breath about them offering it for free.

By the way, if you’re a Facebook user and want to keep up on the latest threats and security news I would recommend you join the Sophos Facebook page – where more than 100,000 people regularly discuss the latest attacks.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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