Social media ‘Snapchat’ gets hit with same old scam: SnapLucky winner

Everyone loves getting something for nothing. And scammers have been cashing in on that wish for a long time, through phone, email, text message… and now the new social media app Snapchat. Snapchat is popular with teens and young adults for its ability to send photos and videos that vanish after viewing.

How the Scam Works:

You use Snapchat to stay in touch with friends. One day, you get a snap, or visual message, from a user you don’t recognize. The snap is a graphic (see image at left) saying you are “Today’s Winner.” To claim your prize, you need to visit the website listed.

You go to the site, and the homepage prompts you to “confirm your username.” You enter your name and click the “finish” button. But when the next page loads, you realize that you aren’t done. The next webpage instructs you to choose from a list of smartphone apps and download one. After you do so, then you can supposedly claim your prize.

Don’t do it! This could just be an unscrupulous way to generate app downloads. But downloading apps outside official stores opens you up to infecting your phone with a virus.

Protect yourself from a Snapchat sweepstakes scam: 

  • You can’t win a contest you didn’t enter: You need to buy a ticket or complete an application to enter a contest or lottery. Be very careful if you’ve been selected as a winner for a contest you have never heard of.
  • Change your settings: Set Snapchat so you can only receive snaps from those on your friends list. This will block most spam. Check here for instructions.
  • Report spam accounts. Report spam and hacked accounts to Snapchat.
  • Use official app stores. Be sure to download apps through the official app store on your phone, not alternative markets.
  • Be wary of unexpected texts, emails and other messages that contain links or attachments. Never click on links or open files from unfamiliar sources.


For More Information

For more information about protecting your Snapchat account, check out their support site. To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.


1 Comment

Filed under Scam alert

One response to “Social media ‘Snapchat’ gets hit with same old scam: SnapLucky winner

  1. Mark Burrows

    As I had forewarned, the concept of smartphones was going to be a danger zone that was going to be ripe with scam opportunists. Much to my dismay, I still have about a year and a half on my current contract only to discover that, they will be discontinuing the basic cell phone. The basic phone will be replaced by the smartphone and the super phone will be the next generation.
    As we are amazed by the ingenuity of technology to manufacture so much power on such a small scale, it had already been accomplished decades ago. We just were not ready for it, or I should say, the cost to change things around for other services and facilities was far too high for them to embrace the change. So, in those decades, they have already come up with stuff we won’t see for years. We would love to pry it from them, but we can’t because it would destroy the profit scheme.
    So, we are destined to put up with technology moving at a rapid pace, of new stuff being expensive upon release, and becoming less expensive very quickly by handing off designs to lesser or more generic brand names.
    My point being, we can’t slow the process down, so we are at the mercy of such scams. So, you must apply the same logic to you smartphone, cellphone, tablet, or any other communication device as you would to your computer.
    Purchase reliable protection software, do not depend on free stuff, because they will try to sell you a pro version plus a host of other products which they might throw in while you download the protection app. Don’t cheap out. This is for your protection.
    Use common sense. There are no instant random winners by chance if you did not enter the contest. The scam stole the idea from retail stores that would celebrate a certain number of a customer who walked through a door, whether it be the one hundredth, the one thousandth, or the millionth, it was a scheme to promote a sale and publicity. The key here is publicity, in order to claim the prizes you would have to agree to ham it up for the cameras and the press. The IRS, would also take note of the value of your windfall.
    Yes, of course there are all kinds of contests that are free as well as free draws, but you have to sign up for them in the first place. You have to be conscious that by putting your name on a slip of paper you are agreeing that win or not, you are likely to receive a sales call or some advertising in the post.

    Mark Burrows

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