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McDonald’s Facebook scam: Happy Birthday to…Donald?

17
Oct
2011

I’m sure a McDonald’s themed Facebook scam seemed like a good idea to somebody at the time, but wow is this one all over the place. It’s your typical “Click here to Like”, “Post a spam comment saying how good this is” then “do one of these offers” affair. However, there are many things about it that don’t make any sense starting with the URL: macdonalds(dot)in.

Presumably they were thinking of the guy with the farm? Oh well, it’s as close to typosquatting as makes no difference I suppose. Let’s take a look:

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“Happy 44th birthday to Donald”, they say. Except his name is Ronald and he was created in 1963, which means he’s actually 48. However, things quickly become confusing at this point. This scam targets Facebook users in India, yet as far as I can tell he’s called Ronald there. In fact, he’s only called Donald McDonald in Japan and I have no idea how old that guy is.

This one claims you can pick up money or coupons (500 rupees or $12 coupons), and all you have to do is jump through some hoops. So far, just under 900 people have hit the “Like” button. The moment you hit it, this will be posted to your Facebook wall:



Facebook users are then asked to wish Ronald – sorry, Donald – a “Happy Birthday”. Kudos to the chap at the top of the comments box who most definitely is not loving it:

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The page says “You will be redirected to the next step”, and the next step would be trying to leave the page but being redirected to the following wonderful offer:

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Hey look, it’s an Unhappy Meal containing one browser hogging spam offer and a distinct lack of plastic toys that you already have six of anyway. All the usual nonsense is onscreen, including the “Do you really want to leave?” popup box and the ludicrous countdown timer.

No, you do not want to fill any of this in. If you see any other websites out there asking you to fill in offers in return for free money to spend in McDonald’s (or even Macdonalds) keep in mind that the site could be stretching the truth a little bit.

In fact…you might even say…it’s a bit of a whopper.

Christopher Boyd

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