Phony Facebook offer for “Free Sharpies.”

Who Is It Targeting: Facebook Users

What Is It:  Artistically inclined Facebook users are being tempted by a phony Facebook giveaway.  The post claims that in honor of Sharpie’s 13th anniversary, they’re giving away a free 24-set of markers for everyone who clicks the offer.  Once you click on the link however, you’re asked to complete a series of questions before sending the link to your friends.  In most cases the result will be opening your computer or smart phone up to spam email or even computer viruses.

What Are They After: Access to your Computer or Smart Phone

How Can You Avoid It:  According to Sharpie, no such sweepstakes or giveaway exists and that they do not sponsor or support any claims to the contrary.  According to a variety of sources, similar scams with Costco, Kohls, Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy and other major retailers have circulated social media in recent years.  Before clicking on adds from sponsors you don’t trust, contact the supposed hosting company directly and find out if the offer represented on your Facebook Page is a legitimate one.  Never give any outside or unknown source access to your computer or smart phone without properly vetting them first.

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