South African Facebook users should be aware that there is a scam currently targeting users and purporting to be run by popular online retailer Takealot.
The scam is run through ads placed on Facebook which the social media giant does not vet.
Targeted ads are being used to scam South Africans
These targeted ads offer outrageous discounts that should immediately set alarm bells ringing.
There are many similar schemes being run, but we have identified the Facebook page Electronic Products as one of the offenders. We warn users not to engage with this page or any of the users who leave comments on their posts.
The posts are set up to offer deep discounts and have strings of comments from dummy accounts which attempt to legitimise the outlandish offers.
Users who have tried to take advantage of the offers report that they are enticed into signing up for a subscription service which charges as much as R300 or more every two weeks.
These targeted scam ads usually aim to get a user to sign up for something and will require the users credit or debit card information to complete the action.
The above example trades on the name of Takealot to convince users of its legitimacy but further investigation has determined there is no formal relationship between the retailer and these scammers.
These kinds of targeted scam ads are not limited to Facebook and are often embedded into games that mobile internet users download for their phones through legitimate platforms like the Google Play Store or iTunes/Apple Store.
Just because a game comes from these stores does not mean that the advertisements they might show you have been properly vetted.
Users should question any time an offer appears to be to good to be true as it could end with you, out of pocket.