Claim:   Olive Garden restaurants are offering free $500 gift cards for fans who sign up through its Facebook site.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2010 ]

The Olive garden is conducting market research for its patrons this week and they are giving out FREE Olive Garden gift cards to everyone who participates. It is simple, just follow the 3 steps below! This was on my Facebook page, it has to be to good to be true. Wanted to see if it is true or not.


Origins:   In March 2010 a few different Facebook pages purporting to represent the Olive Garden chain of Italian restaurants have advertised an “Official Olive Garden Week, Dine In On Us This Week Only” promotion offering free $500 gift cards to users who signed on as fans (in the name of conducting “market research” about the company’s patrons):

Olive Garden

These offers are nothing more than a Facebook-based version of a long-running Internet hoax. Olive Garden confirmed to us that the Facebook pages on which they have appeared are unauthorized and are being deactivated as Olive Garden spots and reports them to Facebook.

Fake Olive Garden sites offering free gift cards continue to pop up, expanding to web sites outside of Facebook. In June 2010, for example, a phony “Dine in for Free at the Olive Garden site continued the hoax by promoting free $100 gift cards.

Last updated:   10 June 2010

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