I’ve been seeing this post (and slight variations) all over my timeline recently. I thought it looked suspicious, so after some research, here is the truth about the alleged giveaway.
The Facebook post appears to be from Ellen DeGeneres giving away $2,000,000, houses, cars, and other big-ticket items. “All you have to do” is like, share, and comment on the post for a chance to win. Some posts require you to click on a link that takes you to a sketchy website.
These posts use images and videos stolen from Ellen’s real social media accounts. If you actually watch the videos, you’ll notice they’re not even related to the alleged giveaway. If you click on the page that posted the giveaway, you’ll notice it only has thousands of followers. The real Ellen has several millions of followers.
Pay careful attention to the name of the Facebook page. The real page is called “Ellen DeGeneres” and has a blue check mark next to it (see image below), meaning it’s a verified account. The fake accounts will often use misspelled versions or different variations of Ellen’s name and they will never have a blue check mark.
Despite the misspelled names, unrelated videos, and absurdity of the giveaway claims, these posts have been shared thousands of times.
If you come across one of these posts, don’t like it, don’t comment on it, and definitely don’t share it. Report it to Facebook. It’s a scam and you will not win anything. So again, do NOT share it.
Be cautious of any page or post that claims to belong to a big celebrity and offers you the chance to win large amounts of cash or expensive prizes just for liking and sharing or clicking links. The goal of these schemes is to build a large Facebook following to sell pages with high “like” counts to third parties.
Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.