If you haven’t already, at some point very soon you are going to see this image on Facebook:
The hook is this: like the photo, share it, then visit a website to enter a contest for a free Disney World vacation.
Here’s the problem: the Facebook page this image resides on is NOT the official Disney World page. It is an impostor designed to trick users into liking the page. Once enough people have done so, the page content will be changed to push other scams into the news feeds of the people who liked the Disney page.
Now, why am I such a downer? Why am I trying so hard to make people sad? How do I know it’s a fake Disney page?
Well, look at this screenshot for a moment (click to see it full-size):
Do you see what it says next to the profile picture? I’ll zoom in a little so you can read it better (click for full size):
It says “Walt Disney-World.”.
Notice the dash.
Notice the period.
Notice the category: “Transport/Freight.”
Notice the lack of the blue “Verified Page” checkmark next to the name.
Do you think for one moment that a company the size of Disney would have ITS OWN NAME written incorrectly on its own Facebook page? Look at any official Disney website or product. Do you see “Walt Disney-World.” anywhere?
Do you see Walt Disney World train cars and semi trailers all over America’s railroad tracks and roadways, delivering jars of pickle relish and car parts and textiles? No? That’s because Disney World is a theme park, not a transportation and freight business.
Do you believe Disney World’s official Facebook page would have 20,000 likes (as of today) and ONE lousy post? And no link to the official Disney World website?
These, and a dozen other points, are your free ticket to knowing that this Facebook page and offer are a scam.
Go look at Walt Disney World’s official Facebook page. Notice:
- 14 million likes
- The name is correctly punctuated (which is to say there is NO punctuation)
- The category is listed as “Theme Park,” which is correct
- The checkmark next to “Walt Disney World.” This means Facebook has verified that the page is official. You can hold your mouse over the checkmark and a little window will pop up that says “Verified Page”
- Posts going back to 2009
- Multiple posts, pretty much every day
I’m taking a pretty emphatic tone because I want people to stop falling for fake Facebook pages. I’m tired of seeing people I know get taken in by this stuff because it helps crooks spread spam and fraud to millions of people. If you see this photo and post in your Facebook newsfeed, please do the following:
- DO NOT SHARE, LIKE OR COMMENT ON the page yourself
- Tell whoever shared it or posted it that it is a scam and that they need to unlike the page right away; point them to the real Disney World page if they don’t believe you
- Go to the fake page and Report it as fraudulent to Facebook
- Share this article, or this one from the Consumerist if you can’t bring yourself to take my word for it
I don’t Facebook much anymore, but I’ve always lived by an “If it’s being shared a lot on Facebook, it’s probably not true” code. It’s a pretty accurate rule, and the stuff that IS true you’ll hear from credible sources eventually anyway.