In October 2017, multiple versions of a dubious post titled “Pizza Hut is giving 3 FREE Large Pizza Coupon on their 58th Anniversary” circulated on Facebook.
The link lead to suspicious domains including pizzahutfree.us, pizzahut.com-freezones.us, pizzahut.com-freezones.us, and massiveoffers.xyz/p/, none of which followed the proper formatting for a pizzahut.com subdomain, which is “link.pizzahut.com.” Those who clicked through found a page that looked somewhat legitimate, but showed signs of being a very common survey scam. Users were first asked a series of questions:
The page followed a common scammer template of appropriating Pizza Hut’s logo and Facebook’s visual interface, but sloppily boasted that entrants had “a chance to get [a] Papa [John’s] Coupon.”
Any interaction with the prompts (again mentioning Papa John’s 58th anniversary, not Pizza Hut’s) led to a screen encouraging potential victims to spread the scam further on Facebook:
Underneath the “Congratulations” interface was a series of what appeared to be comments from real Facebook users who’d successfully redeemed the purported coupon. All of the profiles featured were for individuals with jobs displayed as “MD, at the Hospital”:
Pizza Hut addressed a previous flood of customer queries on their Facebook wall during a similar scam in May 2016:
Don’t believe what you see. It’s easy to steal the colors, logos and header of an established organization. Scammers can also make links look like they lead to legitimate websites and emails appear to come from a different sender.
When in doubt, do a quick web search. If the survey is a scam, you may find alerts or complaints from other consumers. The organization’s real website may have further information.
Watch out for a reward that’s too good to be true. If the survey is real, you may be entered in a drawing to win a gift card or receive a small discount off your next purchase. Few businesses can afford to give away $50 gift cards for completing a few questions.
Patterson, Emily. “Customer Survey Scam Lures Victims with Gift Card.”
Better Business Bureau. 4 July 2014.