There are many online competitions and promotions, and we notice social media promotions for laptops etc. especially targeting students. Unfortunately, there are a lot of online scams also in the guise of such promotions. This is our investigation related to such online scam for free laptop giveaway for students.
Social Media Posts
We noticed viral messages titled “Students Laptop Scheme-2022” on Facebook and WhatsApp, claiming that a scheme is available to offer free laptops to all students, who are not unable to afford a laptop & the student who needs a laptop for educational purposes. The message also says 30,000 laptops were given away in 2021 and this year the plan is to giveaways as many as 800,000 free laptops, worldwide.
The viral message which got shared widely along with a link to apply and avail this offer can be seen below.
*The Applications for the Students Laptop Scheme 2022 Is Available*
This scheme is open to all students who for financial reasons are not in a position to purchase a laptop of their own and are in need of laptop in their level of education
*Students that can apply*
-All Students can apply for the helping laptop support scheme
300,000 students received laptop in 2021
*In 2022 Over 800,000 students will be given free laptop to enhance their learning this month*
*Application has begun and students that have applied have started getting their laptops*
*ONLY STUDENTS CAN APPLY*
Register and apply here
The same message was getting viral on WhatsApp too.
We searched in the mainstream media to determine whether such worldwide free laptop giveaway programs were announced as claimed by the social media posts. However, we were not able to find such laptop donation programs.
After that we directed our attention to the URL of the link. The shortened URL had concealed the final target URL, a ploy frequently used by scammers. The real website address related with this link is https://get-itt.online/2022-free-laptop/ and most updated web security applications would popup a notice that the link directs to a dangerous & malicious website, as we also found out.
Therefore, we request users to follow safety tips while browsing online and to have an updated antivirus and firewall software installed to your devices to protect against such malicious attempts.
We also suggest you not to proceed any further, but only to find out more about this scam we proceeded to the malicious website.
The first form requests Name, Education Level, Required laptop brand and age range. After entering these details, details such as your phone number, home address, date of birth, educational level etc. are requested.
The subsequent steps request details on your employment status, preferred laptop brand etc. as seen below.
After that, a display is shown which says that approval has been granted to receive a free laptop. However, like many other scams the final step requests to share the link with many other WhatsApp contacts / groups.
A Whois lookup of the domain shows that, registrant country was Iceland in June 2021 and is set to expire in June 2023.
Here is Factcrescendo Sri Lanka’s fact check on a similar scam which got viral in 2020 in Sri Lanka, claiming to be a Free Laptops offered by the government.
Free laptop giveaway schemes by the Indian government also got viral recently and here is Indian Press Information Bureaus clarification on viral fake messages.
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The viral text message claiming to be free worldwide laptop giveaway 2022 is false. Similar fake campaigns have been shared many times and were viral in 2021 as well. We request social media users to be extremely cautious in dealing with such scammers along with links to malicious websites which can put your sensitive information at risk and could pose threats to your electronic devices as well.
Title:Student Laptop Scheme 2022 to offer 800,000 free laptops worldwide is a Scam! Find out the facts…Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha