On March 5, 2021, a new TikTok video claimed to offer free iPhones in a special giveaway. It tallied nearly 2 million comments in under four hours and was posted by @amandatuckercom.
The 8-second video told viewers: "Hey. Today's your lucky day. You've been randomly selected to win a brand new iPhone 12. Click the link in the bio to enter."
This was not a legitimate iPhone giveaway. These kinds of scams can potentially involve phishing and identity theft. Readers are strongly advised to stay away from and report these purported giveaways. TikTok users can be easily reported on on a mobile phone. Simply visit a bio and tap the three dots in the upper right corner. Then tap "Report" in the bottom left corner.
Readers who clicked the link in @amandatuckercom's bio were led to this page:
Needless to say, this was not an official Apple website. We researched the domain name for more information and learned that it was registered from Kuwait on March 1, 2021.
The process then let TikTok users choose a model, color, and storage size:
The next step signaled to TikTok entrants that they had succeeded in claiming their iPhone 12:
We won't go too much into detail, but things went off the rails after that "success" in the giveaway.
For example, next, there was a purported chance to win a PlayStation 5. The website asked for personal information such as a phone number, date of birth, mailing address, and email address. Some or all of the process appeared to be affiliated with a company named RewardZone USA, LLC. It was unclear if the TikTok user was directly affiliated with the company.
The entire ruse also involved telemarketers. In a later step, a page appeared that asked for consent to receive sales calls and text messages. It then listed the following "marketing partners" that may place calls to entrants: Accuquote, CAC, DealFinder, DebtExpert, EarnMore, HealthNow, Instant Save, InstantPlaySweepstakes, NationalConsumerCenter, SamplesandSavings, SaveToday, StartaCareerToday.com, SurveyVoices, Sweepstakes Entry Center, SweepstakesaDay, SweepstakesaMonth, WinningToday, and Winopoly.
In sum, the iPhone giveaway on TikTok was not real. Stay far away from any iPhone or PlayStation giveaways unless they appear on official sites because the majority of them are not real. Further, always protect your personal information.
For further reading, see other recent frauds and scams.