Fact: Most facebook game developers don't make it easy for you to collect coin or game cash required to buy certain items offered within their games. They also don’t make it easy for you to level up beyond the first few levels in most of their games. This is called a Pay Wall and for certain games it can ruin game play altogether. It can make you wait hours to collect energy, slow your leveling progress and keep you from enjoying certain parts of the game altogether. It's where the word “Free” becomes questioned and why many people sooner or later give up playing the games on Facebook..
Problem: This creates an opening for spam and scam artist to trick unwitting game players into believing there are hacks, glitches, cheats or cracks that will get them beyond the bounds of the “Pay Wall” and give them paid for in game items free of charge and better all-round game play. The Free Lunch Trap is Set! Once the game player takes the bait, believing they are going to get a "Free Lunch", they are usually encouraged to install a rogue application which will do nothing more than spam their other game playing friends with bogus ""Free Reward"" messages or post on Facebook. Once that's done, the scam artist then leads the victim down a dark tunnel designed to make them a quick buck by fooling the game player into thinking they need to do a survey to obtain the reward or "Free Lunch". The survey scam simply ends up gathering various pieces of personal information from the victim, Such as: Email addresses, Cell Phone Numbers, Names, and Addresses and basically lines the unwitting gamer up for more spam in the future.
Although the most common end game to this trap is the survey scam, many of these rogue post have much more malicious intentions in mind, such as: Phishing, Identity Theft or spreading malware. If this is the case, the unwitting gamer may find him or herself facing the loss of their gaming account, find their valuable game items stolen, end up with a damaged computer or worse. In any event the free lunch or reward is never obtained and many gamers are simply left scammed. If you believe that you are not really taking part in the scam because you are giving out false information to the scam artist, think again. Simply playing along with the scam makes you apart of the scam too. Why? Because you are helping the scam artist spread his scam along.
The Cold Hard Truth:
There is no "Free Lunch" when it comes to playing games on facebook. Actually, there is no "Free Lunch" when it comes to anything on Facebook and it's best to get that strait, right upfront. Many application/ game makers provide basic game play for free, but they expect to make money by displaying ads to you as you play and by offering items within the game that you will need to spend real money on, Premium Items. Every now and then they may toss game players an exclusive freebie, but these freebies are never given outside of the game and are "Rare". To collect most of the "Real" freebie offers provided by the game developers, the player needs to be logged into the game to receive it or must received it as a gift from one of the player’s game neighbors.
Fact: There are no applications on facebook that are able to transfer anything into another application on Facebook unless both applications are made by the same developer. So if you see a game post in your news feed, claiming a friend they got "20 Bi-Plane Instant Grows and 200 Farmcash by clicking a link and going here!! NOW!” It will be fake unless it was displayed to you by the "Official Game Application" or displayed within the actual game through an "Official Communication" from the game maker. It’s very easy to make it appear as though someone you trust has endorsed something on Facebook. Just because it may appear one of your game playing friends has posted a message stating they received something awesome for free, doesn't mean they really did. In many cases they may not even know they made that post. The best thing for you to do is: “Ask First, Click Never.”
Below is a short tutorial that will help you learn to spot fake or bogus game post in your news feed or on your Timeline. Hopefully it will keep you from falling into the "Free Lunch Trap". FarmVille is used as the example in the tutorial, but this information applies to all post made by any application on facebook, game or otherwise.
Example 1: A Legitimate FarmVille Post
In the example below you will see a legitimate FarmVille post on Facebook. As you look at it you will notice it’s very well put together and has no spelling or grammar error in it. On Facebook, if you hover your mouse above the body of a FarmVille message and look down at your browser’s status bar area, you will notice the URL shown there begins with https://apps.facebook.com/onthefarm/. That URL along with the lack of spelling and grammar errors verifies the message as being a Legitimate FarmVille message. If you play FarmVille and wish to collect the reward offered in the message, it’s safe to click it.
Example Legitimate FarmVille Post
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Example 2: A Fraudulent FarmVille Post
In the example below you will see a Fraudulent FarmVille Post on Facebook. As you look at it you will notice it looks about the same as a legitimate message from FarmVille, however there are some grammar errors in it. On Facebook, If you hover your mouse above the body of this type of message and look down at your browser’s status bar area, you will notice the URL shown DOES NOT begin with https://apps.facebook.com/onthefarm/. That URL difference along with the grammar errors verifies the message as being a Fraudulent FarmVille Post. If you see a post like this in your feed, you shouldn't believe anything it says and you should never click it.
Example Fraudulent FarmVille Post
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Note: Once you click the links in a Fraudulent FarmVille message you are usually taken to an application install screen and asked to grant a new application access to your profile, or taken to a some random Facebook fan page and told you must like things and share post to your friends. These are both signs something isn’t right and you should not proceed. Please remember you are only asked to install the real "FarmVille" once. If you have already installed FarmVille and find yourself prompted to install another application to your profile after click what appeared to be a Real FarmVille post in your news feed, Stop! You are being asked to install a fake FarmVille application."There is no need to install multiple apps to play any "One" Zynga game" and the same goes for all other game developers on Facebook. Sometimes game developers on Facebook will offer in game bonuses if you agree to install and play another one of their games, but these notifications will always occur within the game, NOT BY feed or Timeline messages. Any time you click a legitimate FarmVille message you will always be taken into the game and the URL in your browsers address bar will always begin with https://apps.facebook.com/onthefarm/.
Play Hard! Stay Safe!
And Don’t Get Snapped By The Free Lunch Trap!
And Don’t Get Snapped By The Free Lunch Trap!