A vigilant high schooler's investigation reveals a deceptive Facebook contest, ultimately resulting in the shutdown of the entire page.
The internet can be a dangerous place for people who don't know how to navigate it. With that being said, one can always learn from their mistakes and make things right. u/yamanshan had a satisfying internet scam story to share. The post titled, "Entered a fake Facebook contest and got the entire page taken down," has gained 4.1K upvotes and 76 comments on the platform. The student begins the post by saying that the incident took place six years back when they were 17 years old.
They write, "At the time, I was really into drones and was spending a good 2 hours a day watching drone footage and daydreaming about buying a DJI Phantom 4." The drone that the man talked about was a costly drone model, especially for a student in high school. In an exciting turn of events, the then high-schooler soon found a page called "Drone Uplift" on Facebook. The page had a lot of drone-related content, which the then-student really liked. But the highlight of the page was the giveaway for a "DJI Phantom 4," which was the model they wanted. They say, "The basis of this giveaway was in just over a month from now, whichever Facebook user on their page had interacted the most would be selected as the winner and be sent the drone.
Since the student could handle high-school work and a part-time job comfortably, they decided to use all their spare time to try and win the contest. They then proceed to comment and tag their friends on almost every post on the page. It even went to the extent where the user began a drone club at their school to create more reach for the page. They soon had approximately 50 people who regularly liked and replied to otherwise unpopular posts.
The student, wanting to win the contest, saw that the page had no Instagram account. So, they made an account for the page and sent them the login details for the handle. The organization acknowledged his efforts and started using the Instagram account, too. In the week leading up to the giveaway, the student was pretty sure they would win it. Unfortunately, on the result announcement day, they found out that somebody else named "James Wilkins" received the award. They look up the guy's name and immediately find out that the guy had only interacted on 10 posts. Dismayed at the results, the student sent a message to the page and they replied that the other person's replies were more "relevant."
Feeling very disappointed, they decided to investigate further and contact the drone store that the page had partnered with. Shockingly, the store revealed that they had no idea about any giveaway. After this, they looked through the winner's social account only to find out that the profile was created at the same time as the giveaway. Detecting foul play and involving so many of their friends and relatives, they decide to do something about it.
They initially tried to contact Facebook to report the page but did not receive any response. The individual then sent a screenshot of the giveaway to a representative of the store, who replied, "Thank you. We are now investigating this issue and considering legal action." Not satisfied with the reply, they decided to start another Facebook page called "Drone Uplift is a scam! Later, the student sent out messages to other people who were active on the page and shared details of the entire ordeal with them. The new page ended up receiving some attention and began to show up along with the original page, in the search results. They say, "A week later, their entire page and Instagram had been removed and I never saw them again." Thankfully, the fraudulent page was never seen again.
The student finished the post by telling others not to mess with high-school kids on the internet. People on the platform seemed to be aware of such scams and shared their thoughts in the comments. u/_bean_counter wrote, "Sucks that you had to get scammed to figure out their ploy. Sorry, 17-year-old, you had to go through that. Well done for investigating and letting others know about it so they don't get harmed any further."