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December 19, 2011

Thousands of Facebook users scammed by Lady Gaga’s free iPad giveaway

Facebook proves to be a playground for scammers’ with pages of big celebrities being a main target.

By Tineka Smith

Imagine Lady Gaga, aka ‘Mother Monster’, sending you a message offering to give you a free iPad. Would you believe it? Well many of the pop singer’s fans did when they clicked on the link, leaving thousands sorely disappointed as many fell victim to the scam.

The scam, claiming to offer free iPads, was officially identified by IT security and data protection firm, Sophos. Over 45 million Gaga fans were greeted by a message which said:

"Lady Gag’s new iPad comes out in 3 days! So for the next 72 hours we will be hosting a massive giveaway to all the Mother Monster fans. Sign up and receive your special Lady Gaga edition iPad in time for the Holidays! "

Twitter fan page post

The post then featured a link for Gaga fans to click on to receive their "free iPad."

"Facebook is a scammers’ paradise, and the pages of big brands and celebrities are a fast lane to hitting a large number of people," said Sophos senior technology consultant, Graham Cluley.

It is important that followers of popular Facebook fan pages be weary when receiving messages or clicking on links within posts.

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"The Facebook pages of Maroon 5 and Blink 182 also appear to have been hit by the scammers, and as long as such attacks continue to make money for the scammers, they’re not likely to disappear any time soon. It’s hugely important that users think twice before clicking on links," added Cluley.

Maroon 5 scam

Owners of fan pages on Facebook should also take initiative in protecting followers of popular fan pages.

"It is essential that administrators of popular Facebook pages take security seriously to minimise the possibilities of passing a scam on. If nothing else, they’ll be damaging the brand by annoying fans and putting them at risk," he adds.

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