Fact Check

450K Facebook Users Fell for This Toyota Tundra Giveaway Scam

Here's the lowdown on what these scammers were looking to accomplish.

Published Dec 15, 2023

Image Via Facebook
A Facebook post promises a "Christmas surprise" giveaway for a 2023 Toyota Tundra pickup truck and asks users to enter by commenting, clicking on a link and filling out surveys for other prizes.

On Dec. 15, 2023, we received reader mail that asked about a purported giveaway on Facebook that promised one winner a 2023 Toyota Tundra pickup truck.

The many Facebook pages that promoted the supposed giveaway were named 2023 Tundra, TRD. One of the posts read as follows and directed users to a sites.google.com website:

Christmas surprise! This Toyota Tundra wasn't sold so we're giving it to someone by December 19th who $hared and Register here.

Another post asked users to enter the giveaway in the comments by typing "@" and then clicking on "highlight." In the pinned comment under the post, users were directed to visit a website to "validate" their entry.

Facebook posts promised a 2023 Toyota Tundra Christmas surprise giveaway but it was a scam.

However, none of these posts hosted a genuine giveaway for a 2023 Toyota Tundra.

All of this was a scam apparently designed to entice users to fill out surveys, sign up for "free trials" on websites and perform other tasks, at least partially in order for the scammers to obtain an affiliate-marketing commission. In other words, it was a waste of time – and a potentially dangerous one at that – for users who hoped to win a free pickup truck.

Unfortunately, as of Dec. 15, over 450,000 users had commented on just one of the posts. It's unclear how many of these users continued with the scam by clicking on one of the links.

The reason why the scammers asked users to type "@" in the comments and then click "highlight" was to boost the page's following. This would potentially help the scammer to sell the follower-filled page in the future, if that was the goal. (We previously reported about the "highlight" feature on Facebook.)

Based upon the actions of scammers over the last several years, it's likely that they will attempt the same fake giveaway strategy in the future using the makes and models of other cars.

For any users who fell for these scams and gave away their financial information (e.g. a credit card number), we recommend retracing your steps and ensuring that any "free trials" that were signed up for are canceled, so that no future charges appear on your statement. Call your credit card company for further advice.

For further reading, the U.S. Better Business Bureau (BBB) published an article about how to spot fake giveaways on social media. One of those tips mentioned to find out if the Facebook page that's offering the giveaway has a verified badge or not. If it has a verified badge, it's likely a legitimate giveaway. However, scammers have been known to seize on accounts with verified badges in order to advertise their scams, so bear in mind that this is not a foolproof tip.


“BBB Scam Alert: How to Spot a Fake Social Media Giveaway.” U.S. Better Business Bureau (BBB), 21 Dec. 2020, https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/23522-scam-alert-how-to-spot-a-fake-social-media-giveaway.

Liles, Jordan. “Does Typing ‘@’ in a Facebook Comment and Clicking ‘Highlight’ Reveal ‘Page Watchers’?” Snopes, 27 Nov. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/facebook-highlight-page-watchers/.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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