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April 6, 2010

Whole Foods 'giveaway' on Facebook is a scam

Posted: 10:04 AM ET

Whole Foods Market and Facebook are warning users that a fan page claiming to offer $500 in free groceries at the health food chain is a scam.

Austin, Texas-based Whole foods said on its official Facebook page that the scam first cropped up on Thursday, and is an effort to steal people’s personal data.

The page offers fans a sign-up sheet for the supposed giveaway, which both installs malware on the user’s computer and fishes for credit and other financial information.

“Dear Fans, Please be wary of Facebook Pages offering you $500 Whole Foods Gift Cards. We only run giveaways and promotions on this Facebook Page and our stores' Pages,” read the post, dated April 2. “We have reported these to Facebook, and you can report these fraudulent Pages by clicking the "Report Page" link on the bottom of the left column on the left column of the Wall view.”

A page that was used in the Whole Foods scam appeared to be gone Tuesday morning. A search for “Whole Foods” and “$500” only revealed a small group warning people about the scam.

But Whole Foods said the pages were first noticed on Thursday and that new ones have been popping up as soon as old pages were taken down.

A spokesperson for Facebook said the social-networking site takes such scams seriously.

“Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and scams is a top priority for us,” the spokesperson said Tuesday in a written statement. “Groups and Pages that attempt to trick people into taking a certain action or spamming their friends with invites violate our policies, and we have a large team of professional investigators who quickly remove these when we detect them or they're reported to us by our users.

By becoming a fan of Facebook’s security page, which has nearly 1.7 million fans, users can get updates on the threats that inevitably will pop up from time to time on a site with more than 400 million users.

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Filed under: Facebook • Hoaxes • Security • virus

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bender   April 6th, 2010 10:44 am ET

um. duh. anything like that on facebook is most likely a scam. awesome reporting cnn. you fail as usual.

Reputation Defender : Reputation Management, Internet Privacy, and Social Media Quick Hits   April 6th, 2010 12:21 pm ET

[...] Facebook fan page claiming to offer $500 in free groceries at Whole Foods Market is a scam designed to obtain users' private information. News of this scam already made the rounds on [...]

DANTHEMAAN   April 6th, 2010 12:41 pm ET


thewrath009   April 6th, 2010 1:04 pm ET

Facebook is nice and you will always have this issue on these sites. THe best thing to do is educate those who use Facbeook about these and inform them what to do and what not to do when they see them in addition, on how to report them.

Sam   April 6th, 2010 1:10 pm ET

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Jefe   April 6th, 2010 1:54 pm ET

I don't think people should be warned about this. If you fall for it, its better that you get scammed and learn a lesson. If you're that foolish, you are a danger to society and yourself.

From my experience, it seems the majority of Facebook users would fall into this category.

Jefe   April 6th, 2010 1:54 pm ET

Also want to add, $500 at Whole Foods is only a few days' groceries anyhow ; )

pringerX   April 6th, 2010 2:12 pm ET

You mean, Whole Paycheck? =P

Reputation Management, Internet Privacy, and Social Media Quick Hits : Michael Fertik - Internet entrepreneur and CEO of ReputationDefender   April 6th, 2010 9:53 pm ET

[...] Facebook fan page claiming to offer 0 in free groceries at Whole Foods Market is a scam designed to obtain users' private information. News of this scam already made the rounds on [...]

Whole Foods ‘giveaway’ on Facebook is a scam | Rated G for Geek   April 6th, 2010 9:57 pm ET

[...] From CNN [...]

Derick   April 6th, 2010 10:08 pm ET

Dumb Reporting, report Sears Scam on Heroes at Home. Thats a true scam, they want their sales people to pressure customers into donating and the money would be given to the Veterins of Iraq. They would be given gift cards, where they may purchase items at Sears. The way they are pushing this so hard, I see this as a "real" scam.

Sency   April 6th, 2010 10:27 pm ET

whole foods makes it into the press for bad reasons – it has happened before

Josh   April 7th, 2010 10:29 am ET

Darwinism at work, let the stupid masses get burned by these scams. Anyone with a shred of common sense would realize you just don't get something for nothing (to this extent).

Lisa   April 7th, 2010 11:54 am ET

Anyone foolish enough to believe they are getting "free money" in any form deserves to be scammed.

Gary   April 8th, 2010 10:51 pm ET

I don't believe this story for one second.

If Whole Foods is not in the middle of this then... what did they do about it? Who was jailed?
I would guess.... no body. If I am wrong, and I hope I am... please let me know what Whole Foods has done about this obvious mis-use of brand....
Whole Foods must think we are all just stupid.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Former shopper,

– gary

Kelly   May 22nd, 2010 12:31 pm ET

From someone who has family all over the country, we use Facebook to keep in touch with one another on a daily basis. Not all users are idiots as described in some of the comments above.
Also, bare in mind that in today's society, where goverment handouts are everywhere (if you know where to look) $500 dollars worth of free groceries doesn't seem that odd. While most of us who work for a living realize that you don't "Get something for nothing", there are a lot of folks that think you do and you should. We are quickly becoming (if we haven't already reached the it) a welfare nation....don't blame it on Facebook if people are looking for a handout...blame it on the voters who made it possible for society to think that it's alright to recieve on.

Joel Owen   July 3rd, 2010 1:10 am ET

there are so many scams running on the internete so watch out;~-

Matilda Mitchell   September 27th, 2010 10:33 pm ET

there are literally tons of scam on the internet today so watch out';"

Caramoan    October 13th, 2010 6:16 pm ET

internet scams are very rampant and there are also lots of newbie internet users who are getting scammed"~

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