CLAIM

Starbucks is awarding social media users free $50 or $100 gift cards to celebrate its 45th anniversary.

FALSE

RATING

FALSE

ORIGIN

Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, October 2011 ]

Free Starbucks, Thanks!
Get FREE Starbucks Vouchers – With a value of $100
[URL elided]
To celebrate 40 years of Starbucks, we are giving away thousands of $100 Gift Vouchers FREE – [URL elided]
 


Celebrate 40 years of Starbucks. Get a Free Starbucks Gift Card.

This offer will expire Thursday, October 20, or when the remaining 2398 FREE Vouchers!

Step 1: You must click the share button: Share846

Step 2: Say Thanks and tell us your favourite drink, Example: “Thanks, I like expresso’s” below!
(click “add a comment”)

[Collected via e-mail and Facebook, December 2017]

I received a an offer of a $50 gift certificate to Starbucks to cerebrate their 45th anniversary.


starbucks is providing a free $50 coupon to everyone to celebrate 45th anniversary

Origins:   In mid-October 2011, a survey scam purporting to offer free $50 or $100 Starbucks gift cards to those who followed particular links then did as told once there spread via e-mail and Facebook. Those who went in search of the promised freebies were asked to click what appeared to be Facebook “share” buttons and post comments to the scammer’s site.

Those who followed such instructions were then led into a series of surveys they were instructed to complete before their gift cards could be sent to them. As always with such cons, there were no gift cards to be had.

The “Starbucks gift card” con is a copy of the days-earlier Tim Horton survey scam, which itself was a clone of the survey scam falsely offering free Apple iPods, iPhones, or MacBooks in memory of Steve Jobs.

Starbucks was founded in 1971, which does indeed make it 40 years old as of 2011. However, that’s the only thing the e-mailed and Facebook-spread hoax had right.

Variations: In December 2017, a similar Starbucks $50 gift card scam circulated on Facebook. That subsequent iteration was another version of the common anniversary survey scam, promising a phantom $50 gift card to folks who liked a page and shared a link (thus recruiting more of their friends to spread the link). As is often the case, the “coupon” linked not to a legitimate Starbucks domain, but to a completely unrelated URL.

Users who clicked the link were taken to a “survey” rife with typographical errors, any combination of which would result in their purportedly winning a $50 gift card — so long as the user liked, shared, and spread the link on Facebook:

More information about this specific type of scam can be found here.