About That Bunnings Warehouse Voucher Facebook Scam

, Another rant from , 4 Comments

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It’s that time of year again.

No, not the jolly fat man in a red suit; I’m talking about the bi-annual ‘Thank You <insert large brand name here>’ Facebook status flood.

Bunnings Warehouse Facebook Status Scam

The post works like this:

  • Submit a comment via a non-descript page with an odd URL.
  • You are also requested to ‘like’ the page
  • You will then (apparently)be forwarded into the draw to win a free voucher.
  • This comment is linked directly to your Facebook account and once you comment in the provided box, the post is then submitted to your wall.
  • Due to Facebook’s sharing algorithm, this comment is then populated to everyone within your friends list (who you have relevance with).
  • Due to the posts call-to-action, this encourages your friends to also click on the link.
  • Repeat.

Sounds great huh!

The only thing is, these vouchers/gift cards don’t exist.
The promotion is not affiliated at all with the business being represented.
This is another one of those ways to scam Facebook likes that I discussed a little while ago.

In short – Is the Thank You Bunnings Warehouse Facebook status legit?

Answer: No. This is another Facebook scam – and a fairly transparent one too.

So how do you spot the scam?

Sure the pages uses he Facebook Blue/Gradient.
They also have a Bunnings Warehouse logo.
It even has a Bunnings Warehouse Trademark statement in the footer.

Facebook Bunnings  Warehouse Scam

These are the tricks of the trade that phishing sites use. They use the elements of a site that you are used to interacting with to instill confidence, but look a little more and you’ll see it’s not legit.

Check out the URL

A Bunnings Warehouse promo will very likely be using a Bunnings Warehouse (or at least affiliated) URL, not http://johoce.pw/

Check out the sources code (right mouse click – view page source).

This is the code that makes the page work, spend a couple of seconds looking at that and you’ll soon come across a few things that are off.

In this particular example, there is a geo-target script that identifies if you are located in the UK.
If you are, you’ll be forwarded to a more relevant page (Bunnings doesn’t exist in the UK). You lucky UK punters will get a Tesco scam page instead.

GeoTargeted Facebook Scam - Bunnings Warehouse

Who owns the domain

These guys have actually covered their tracks in this instance. Typically you can find the owner of any website using a tool called WhoIs.
http://whois.domaintools.com/johoce.pw
In this case though, the owner has paid an additional fee to cloak their ownership details. Why would Bunnings Warehouse be cloaking their ownership?

Bunnings Warehouse Facebook Scam

The Call-to-action

For the past couple of weeks that this status scam has been around, the title has  featured the text (only 77 left). That’s the longest lasting 77 vouchers ever!

The on-page counter

When you hit the page you are provided with a counter that displays how many vouchers are left.
It starts off around 950 huh?
Refresh the page (removing the query string form your URL) and miraculously, the counter has reset!

Bunnings Vouchers Remaining

So why does this page exist?

It’s difficult to tell the exact intentions of a website that gathers likes, but my best guess would be in order to capitalise on the very lucrative domain name selling market.

Domains that have a significant amount of online interaction – via links, shares or social – are worth A LOT more on the domain market than brand new sites.

A domain that has a large back-link count, a lot of social shares/interactions or has been a round for a long time can fetch quite a lot of money.
These pages have what is known as ‘authority’ to search engines, which means getting links from these sites to your site will dramatically assist with you sites SEO.

Domains For Sale

With SEO, part of the way search engines determine rankings is by checking your site has quality links form authoritative domains. Of course it;s a little more complex than just that but put simply, the more authoritative links you have, the better you will rank.
Some businesses purchase these sites and then on-sell a link(s) from the site to businesses wanting to rank.

The more value (or more authority) the site containing the link from, the more the sites owner can charge businesses for a link.

“By you commenting on these pages and encouraging your friends to do the same you’re actually unwittingly helping someone, somewhere make money”

Overall, it looks, smells and tastes like a link building/Affiliate marketing scam.

By you commenting on these pages and encouraging your friends to do the same you’re actually unwittingly helping someone, somewhere make money from selling advertising or SEO spam.

In short, the Bunnings Facebook status offer is a scam. A really annoying one too.

Don’t feel bad though, you were only one of 6million plus people who fell for it. (that’s a shit load of free vouchers huh)

Facebook Like Scam

So, on behalf of your Facebook friends list please, please stop clicking on these links. 

 

4 Responses

  1. Stuart @ Gleam

    December 10, 2013 3:42 PM

    Saw this last year, very clever use of social mechanics & the gullible nature that exists on Facebook. Pretty sure they redirect to an affiliate offer – which I think is where they make their cash.

  2. Laura Phillips

    December 21, 2013 1:51 AM

    Hi Daylan,

    Thanks for another great post! I think I saw you wrote about the rise of ‘God’ on Facebook recently too, must check that out!

    I’ve squawked at you before about how mental it drives me that this fake like stuff still works, so much I wrote about it again in August to back up the one from a year or so ago (it’s here if you’re vaguely interested: http://www.koozai.com/blog/social-media/you-are-a-like-farm/).

    I know there’s always going to be people who haven’t seen this stuff before, and I’m not criticising them at all. I assumed that talk of such scams would spread like wildfire and they would die out, but it seems not. Well, not yet anyway. We have the same thing exactly over here and people I know on Facebook fall for it time after time after time…

    PS Have a great Christmas!

    • Daylan Pearce

      December 21, 2013 6:10 PM

      Thanks Laura!
      Nice article – and thank you for the shout out too. I guess all we can do is keep on writing about it and hope that a few people catch on huh.

      Or perhaps… liking these posts actually is curing cancer and we just don’t know it! Maybe we’re the ones preventing cancer from being cured because of telling people to stop liking these things!
      Thanks again Laura and Merry Xmas. : )