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The Fake Instagram Account Scandal

 
 
RyanO45
 
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2016 04:52 pm
So there was recently a scandal that happened and a lot of people in my school fell for it. There was a fake Instagram account for Burger King Canada (keep in mind that Burger King Canada does not have an Instagram page) and some person decided to make an account with the username @burgerkingcanada and put this as their bio . This is not exact but it's something along the lines of,

"First 20000 followers get a $50 Burger King gift card. You must follow and shoutout our page. We will contact you through the DMs within 72 hours."

Within a few days, people shouting out the account and poof, the account exploded, reached 20000 followers and it was revealed that the account was fake and it was just a meme account after the name got changed to @icyfresh. I'm really surprised people are pretty stupid to not realize that it was fake.

Just think about it. Why would Burger King Canada give away one million dollars worth in gift cards? That sounds like a net loss to me.

Me being me, I knew better and I didn't follow this account but this seems really scummy to do this. First off, you're faking yourself as a million dollar company just to get more followers for a meme account. Secondly, you're saying that you will contact people through the DMs. Does this mean getting people's addresses so you can "fake" mail it to them?

Now different things could have happened. Maybe this was a real account owned by Burger King that got hacked. Maybe it was everything I said previously but that's all the information I can base off of from my POV.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments.
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2016 05:29 pm
@RyanO45,
Consider that sometimes large corporations stage big-time giveaways, and there's nothing fishy about that at all. While you might think a million dollars in giveaways is a net loss, it might not be. These companies make billions annually, and sometimes give away cards and whatnot in order to promote new product lines. McDonald's also uses a feeling of scarcity; people love the McRib, but McD's doesn't offer it every day of the year specifically because they want to make people feel it's 'special'.

That having been said, of course this was a scam. First off, the size of the gift card was suspect no matter what - BK would be a lot more likely to give away $5 cards if any. Payment for followers doesn't seem to be specifically against the Twitter TOS but it should have also raised flags (and impersonating someone is certainly against their rules, see: https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311).

As for the DM communications, the scammer also picked up a nice passel of emails which he or she knows work. And those have probably been sold to a spamming company which buys mailing lists. So welcome to being spammed if you DMed this account!

For larger corporations, this is one of the many problems they have with social media.
RyanO45
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2016 07:01 pm
@jespah,
I understand what you're saying on the giveaway part but the thing is that it was done for followers. He faked himself as BK Canada to get more followers. Isn't there something wrong with that?
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Oct, 2016 06:40 am
@RyanO45,
Of course there is, and I'm not disputing that.
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