Here's how to spot a scam offer on Facebook

We've all seen a post on Facebook advertising a deal or holiday that sounds almost too good to be true.

Monday, 26th November 2018, 3:18 pm
Updated Monday, 26th November 2018, 3:20 pm

After a scam which saw fraudsters use a fake post offering the chance to win free trips to Center Parcs to access Facebook users' data, police have issued some advice on spotting suspicious pages and accounts on social media.

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Read more about the Center Parcs scam on Facebook

Most large businesses and organisations - including the likes of Center Parcs - will only post offers and promotions from their official page. If it's verified, it will have a tick next to their name to denote that Facebook is satisfied the account is legit.

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How long has the page existed?

A genuine account will have professionally-curated posts published at fairly regular intervals dating back months and, more likely, years. A fake page is characterised by far more erratic posting and the publishing history is usually very short - the Center Parcs scam account was only eight hours old.

How many Likes do they have?

Engagement is key. A legitimate business account is likely to have thousands and even millions of followers, especially if it's a large brand. Look for comments beneath posts - while a large number of people are likely to share a fake post if they've been duped, genuine posts should have positive feedback from a range of people in the comments section below. If you see comments from people suggesting caution, be wary.

Watch out for fake names and Google if you're unsure

In the case of the Center Parcs scam, the fraudsters used a fake name to refer to the company's CEO - when a simple Google search will establish his real name.