The most effective scams always have a kernel of truth to them and this particular scam is a good example of that fact.  Facebook is offering a hundred million dollars in cash grants to qualifying small businesses affected adversely by the Coronavirus pandemic.  Here is a link to the real Facebook grant page.  https://www.facebook.com/business/small-business/grants\

However, scammers have latched on to this program and have started circulating articles that appear to come from CNBC in whcih they tell people that Facebook is giving substantial grants to anyone who uses Facebook.  Here is a copy of one of the articles that is presently circulating.

The news on the fake CNBC website

The article is a fake.  CNBC did not write it, which explains the poor grammar.  Often scams like this originate in foreign countries where English is not the primary language and where the scammers use poor grammar and spelling.  People clicking on the links in the article are taken to a website that appears to be where you can apply for the phony Facebook Coronavirus grants.  However, in order to apply for the grants, you are told that you must provide your Facebook username and password as well as other personal information such as your Social Security number in order to qualify for the grant.  The unfortunate truth is that there are no such grants being offered to individual Facebook users.  If you provide the demanded information all you will succeed in doing is turning over personal information to a criminal who will use it to make you a victim of identity theft.  In addition, by providing your Facebook user name and password you will enable the criminal to access your Facebook account and use it to contact your friends posing as you in order to scam them.

TIPS

Never click on links in emails or text messages unless you have absolutely confirmed that the email or text message was legitimate.  The risk of either downloading malware by clicking on the link or being lured into providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft is just too great.  Also, be wary of emails, text messages or articles such as this one that contain grammatical or spelling errors which may be an indication that it is a scam that is originating in a foreign country.  Never provide personal information in response to an email, text message or phone call unless you have absolutely confirmed that the request for such information is legitimate.  In this particular case, by doing a Google or other search engine search into the purported Facebook grant program, you would have learned that there is no such program for individual Facebook users.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”