Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Starbucks Is NOT Giving Free $50 Coupon Per Family To Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary!

  • by: Alan Duke
  • (Sun, 21 Apr 2019 16:20:19 Z)

Is Starbucks giving free $50 coupon per family to celebrate its 50th Anniversary? No, that's not true: a scam website is luring visitors by promising free products in exchange for completing surveys but the whole thing is a scam designed to steal personal information. The setup is similar to earlier scams targeting different brands before.

The Starbuck post on April 20, 2019 opened:

Starbucks is giving Free $50 Coupon Per family to celebrate its 50th Anniversary!

$50 GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY

Screenshot of http://starbucks.com-usx.com/?TtiRQJx&fbclid=IwAR1O6_ZAT-aI7qN9hWjuj8yKBANRShkDQRZ8cH-pB6K1nUCN-1eIkzxBJA0

It looks like this on social media:

The site is part of a larger network of scam websites that all operate in the same manner. First three questions are asked, typically asking if you are satisified with some brand, if you have used their product or if you would recommend it to others. Three possible answers are offered each time "Yes", "No" or "Don't remember".

No matter what answers are given, visitors are redirected to a screen that looks like this, inviting them to share and like the page on Facebook to claim the prize:

dunkinfake.jpg

The comment form at the bottom is also fake: comments are automatically appearing but they do not come from real people, the whole thing is scripted: if the page is reloaded the same comments start appearing again. Clicking the share button does bring up a real share popup from Facebook but it does not share the exact URL of the page: it varies the random-looking string of letters and numbers at the end so that to Facebook it will look like a new and different article that is being shared. This makes it harder to detect and do something about it because each individual link needs to be individually reported and taken down.

Clicking the like button takes people through a series of redirects via various pages, probably depending on which ads or scams the people behind the site need to promote at the time. But no prize will show up at your door in the end.

The scammers behind the site regularily launch new sites targeting different brands and businesses but they all look similar. An earlier version we spotted was aimed at Dunkin' Donuts.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?


Click this link to copy it to your clipboard
Then click here if you have Facebook or click here if you have Twitter to see who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.

About the author:

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

Spotted a hoax that you think we should investigate? Have a tip? Want to send us a correction? Contact us!

You can also follow us here:

Most read

Recent

Like or Follow us to get the latest!

NEW! Subscribe to our YouTube channel: