What is the Get Free McDonalds Facebook scam?
The Get Free McDonalds scam also called the McDonalds Giveaway scam is a tag-jacking, survey, and browser hijacker Facebook scam that engages in social engineering by illegitimately posing as McDonalds and sponsors such as HTC Sense in the middle of a free McDonalds giveaway campaign, in order to trick Facebook users into believing that they can get free McDonalds. The truth is, victims of the Get Free McDonalds will not receive free McDonalds as this is a common Facebook scam that is deployed for a malicious and invasive purpose.
You may have noticed a friend post an image of a Big Mac or other McDonalds item that says something similar to “GET FREE MCDONALDS, CLAIM MINE *Details Apply” with a large amount of tagged friends, and a short link to a blogspot website. Your friend may have even commented on the post “got it via email instantly … Hurry up before they’re all out” but your Facebook friend or your friend’s tagged friend DID NOT actually comment or post the details on their own behalf. The Get Free Mcdonalds Facebook scam hijacked the victims account, posted the content, tagged friends, and commented without authorization… Following along with the Get Free Mcdonalds Facebook scam will only do the same to your Facebook account.
How the Free Mcdonalds Facebook scam works:
A Facebook users clicks a spammed link via a previously compromised Facebook account, likely thinking they can get free Mcdonalds. The link is most likely a masked shortlink that ultimately directs to a blogspot website (or other website) pictured below.
The fake McDonalds blogspot website may contain text that says “Eat at McDonalds for free. Enjoy free meals at McDonald’s for a while! Proceed to claim. Note: We will only need your Basic info to make sure you can only claim once. Get Started.” *Please do not attempt to follow along with the scam for your own safety.
Next, the user is directed to a Human Verification page that claims “Sorry! We have to confirm that you’re not a robot before you continue.” This page also contains instructions to complete the free McDonalds Facebook scam, stating that you must login with Facebook to generate your verification code. This scam primarily claims to have a sponsor such as HTC Sense and may attempt to get victims to “log in with Facebook” or log into a fake HTC profile and copy a URL from the other window. Please note, whenever a verification process makes you copy a URL, it is likely malicious.
Once the user is “logged in” and the code is copied the user is then directed to Step 2: Submit your code. In this case the scam attempts to get individuals to press the keys below to generate a code. The Facebook scams says to type Ctrl+V which is essentially paste, meaning they are telling victims to copy and paste a harmful code. If you have reached this point, DO NOT press the keys shown on the screen to submit your false verification code.
After logging into the fake HTC Facebook profile and copying and pasting the code, the McDonalds scam page may redirect a user to the actual legitimate HTC page. This is the final stage of the scam.
So, what can you expect if you are a victim to the free McDonalds Facebook scam? Your Facebook profile is likely compromised as you gave scam artists permission to use you account on your behalf. You can expect the scam artists to spam the same link or similar Facebook scam links, tag your friends, and comment on your behalf. You may even have additional malware located on your computer, in particular a browser hijacker that primarily changes internet browser settings without consent, including the home page default search engine, and browser shortcut. Furthermore, the malware and tactics associated with the McDonalds Giveaway scam are very invasive and capable of collecting sensitive information, which may be used inappropriately.
Aside from the dangerous symptoms and repercussions of malware, victims of the free McDonalds Facebook scam often complain of excessive email spam, junk mail, telemarketers, and phishing attempts via telephone.
How to deal with the Fake McDonalds Facebook scam
- If you followed through with the Facebook scam and your Facebook account has been hijacked, immediately change your Facebook password in the Facebook user account settings. It is also recommended to change your Facebook email address, but not necessary. If you change your password and log out of all locations besides your current geographical territory your Facebook account will not be accessed by a third-party.
- If you suspect your computer is infected with malware there are multiple solutions to detect and remove the infection. Check out our software page for reputable Anti-Malware, Antivirus, and cleaning and optimization software. It is recommended to perform a full system using free or paid versions of software like Malwarebytes to detect and remove malware infecting your computer system.
- If malware is not removed from your computer system, you are at risk of becoming a victim to cyber crimes involving credit theft, extortion, and identity theft. Furthermore, malware associated with the McDonalds Facebook scam can cause a computer to lose complete functionality or at minimal become slow and sluggish.