Who doesn’t want $500 in gift cards, free groceries, or designer clothes? It’s easy to be tempted by social media giveaways. But before you like, comment or share a social post in hopes of winning some big prize, make sure that giveaway is the real deal.

Many of these social media giveaways are fake. They are created by scammers as a way to get as many social media likes and comments as possible. This technique, known as like-farming, has several different goals. Often, the giveaway post itself is initially harmless – albeit fake. But when the scammer collects enough likes and shares, they will edit the post and add something malicious, such as a link to malware. Other times, once scammers reach their target number of likes, they strip the page’s original content and use it to promote spammy products or sell it on the black market.

Some giveaways are real. But scammers often use similar language and pretend they are part of an official giveaway to look real.

The Better Business Bureau offers tips on what you can look for to make sure social media giveaways are legit.

  • Look for the blue checkmark. Many social media platforms verify pages from brands and celebrities so users can tell real pages from copycats. Make sure you look for that trust mark before liking and sharing content.
  • Watch out for new accounts: If you think a giveaway is real, click on the profile. If it’s a new account with very little other content, that’s a big red flag.
  • Look for spelling errors and typos: Real brands use giveaways to promote their company and spelling errors and typos will make them look bad.
  • The giveaway asks you to complete too many tasks: If a giveaway asks you to comment on multiple posts, follow several accounts, and tag a couple of brands, it becomes almost impossible to keep track of everyone participating and pick a winner at random (as required by law).
  • There are no terms and conditions. Online giveaways should include contact details of the organizer, how to take part, how the winner will be selected, and eligibility requirements.
  • Don’t click “like” on every post in your feed. Scammers are counting on getting as many mindless likes as possible, so be sure you only like posts and articles that are legitimate. Don’t help scammers spread their con.
  • If you’ve spotted a scam, whether or not you’ve lost money, report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams.

    More From 96.9 WOUR