Here's a PSA to everyone, including my own close personal friends: NO - you can't win a car by sharing a single Facebook post.

All weekend, my feed has been full of pictures of a 2020 Toyota RAV 4. Some of my friends shared the photos and personally, all I want to do is comment on every single one with the comment "this is a scam."

In fact, these posts on Facebook have been a thing for quite sometime now. According to Snopes, these posts first started going viral on the internet in 2014.

In December 2014, a number of Facebook pages using car brand names such as Audi, Range Rover, Mercedes, and Camaro (among others) posted directives similar to the messages quoted above. The pages claimed that Facebook was giving away cars.

All of these posts follow a similar format: they ask you to share the image and then click on a specific link to validate your entry.

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Credit: Screengrab via Facebook Page
Credit: Screengrab via Facebook Page

It's important to keep in mind that any post like this one is a scam, and there's a few ways to be able to tell this.

1) There's no association with the brand to the page.

The post above is titled "Toyota Rav4 2020" - and it has no association to the official Toyota Facebook page at all. Almost always, any giveaways are conducted through brands’ official channels or the social media accounts of related large companies. If the brand was giving away a vehicle, they wouldn't make a separate page to do so.

2) The date the page was created.

You can scroll down further on the page to see that it was created on May 17th, 2020.

3) The amount of page likes.

7,265 people like this page in particular. The actual Toyota Facebook page has 14 million likes.

Those who fall for giveaways like this put themselves at risk for multiple different things. Snopes says they are "unwittingly help spammers pollute the social network with scams, they may also risk being exposed to malware, clickjacking, or other unpleasantries (such as finding their names and identities endorsing a scam, hate page, or other undesirable activity)."

Do yourself a favor, and stop falling for "giveaways" like this one. Do your research beforehand!

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