How to Spot a Farmville Scam or Rogue Application

This Post was Produced by ScamSniper

The Free Lunch Trap

Fact: Most facebook game developers don’t make it easy for you to collect the coin or game cash required to buy certain items offered within their games. Problem: This creates an opening for spam and scam artist to trick unwitting game players into believing there are hacks, glitches, cheats or cracks that will give them these paid for in game items free of charge. Once the game player takes the bait, believing they are going to get a “Free Lunch”, they are usually encouraged to install a rogue application which will do nothing more then spam their other game playing friends with bogus “”Free Lunch”” messages or post. Once that’s done, the scam artist then leads the victim down a dark tunnel designed to make him or her a quick buck by fooling the game player into thinking they need to do a survey to obtain the reward or “Free Lunch”. The survey scam simply ends up gathering various pieces of personal information from the victim, Such as: Email addresses, Cell Phone Numbers, Names, and Addresses and basically lines the unwitting gamer up for more spam in the future.   Although the most common end game to this trap is the survey scam, many of these rogue post have much more malicious intentions in mind. Such as: Phishing, Identity Theft or spreading malware. If this is the case, the unwitting gamer may find him or herself facing the loss of their gaming account, find their valuable game items stolen, end up with a damaged computer or worse. In any event the free lunch is never obtained and many gamers are simply left scammed.
The Cold Hard Truth:

There is no “Free Lunch” when it comes to playing games on facebook. Many application makers are providing the game play for free, but they expect to make money by displaying ads to you as you play and by offering items within the game that you will need to spend real money on. Every now and then they may toss game players an exclusive freebie, but these freebies are never given outside of the game and are “Rare”. To collect most of the “Real” freebie offers provided by the game developers, the player needs to be logged into the game to receive it or must received it as a gift from one of the players game neighbors. Fact: No other application on facebook is able to transfer anything into another application unless both applications are made by the same developer. So that post you see in your news feed, claiming a friend “Got 2000 coin free, right now! By going here!! NOW!”, will be fake unless it was displayed to you via a post by the “Official Application” or displayed via an “Official Game Communication” within the game you are playing. Offers for free Game Cash Cards should also be classified as false unless they are from an “Official Retail Source” of the game. Not some guy named Jim Beam who started a facebook event. 
Below is a short tutorial that will help you learn to spot fake or bogus game post in your news feed or on your wall. Hopefully it will keep you from falling into the “Free Lunch Trap”. FarmVille is used as the example in the tutorial, but it applies to all post made by any application on facebook.

Quick How To: Spot a Fake Zynga Game Post In Your Feed

1. Official Zynga game posts have the game’s name spelled correctly and no grammar errors.

Example: It’s “FarmVille”: –Not–> “farmville” or “ONthebarn” or “FaRmViLLe”

2. The post will always state the game it was posted by in the lower left hand corner of the post.

Example: A post from “FarmVille” will say: “** minutes ago via FarmVille“. 

Example Official Post
 “Click To Enlarge”

3. Most of the scam/fake Zynga game post will have a different App name listed in the lower left hand corner of the post.


Here is a post from a friend offering a “CashCow”. You will notice that the post itself almost looks exactly like a real “FarmVille” post. However, if you look closely at the lower left corner, it’s says “via The CashCow”. If you click that name you will be taken to an app profile different from FarmVille. If you were to click “adopt” in that post you will be asked to install this new app and you will never receive the “CashCow”. You’ll probably get something you don’t want, like this same spam posted to your wall so your friends can see it. The reason you won’t receive the cow is simple, that app is not “FarmVille” and not associated with Zynga. Only an Official Zynga game post will transfer game extras or bonuses to an official Zynga game. “This applies to all games in general, not just FarmVille.” See picture.
Example Fake FarmVille Post
“Click To Enlarge”
Note: Some people have stated that they have seen post that display the correct App name in the sent “via GameName” area, but that the app was a fake. Here is another way you can verify if the post was made by the real app.
Example For FarmVille: 
Simply hover over the “Via FarmVille” with your mouse, then look in the status area of your browser. The number at the end of the URL displayed there should be “102452128776”, anything different, it’s a fake. Each app/game on facebook has a “Unique Application ID”. You can use this to spot a fake without clicking a thing and it is 100% fool proof at this point. See Picture.
Example Looking for the Unique Application ID
“Click To Enlarge”
Note: Once you click the links in a fake FarmVille post you are usually taken to an application install screen and asked to grant a new application access to your profile. Please remember you are only asked to install the real “FarmVille” once. If you have already installed FarmVille and find yourself prompted to install another application to your profile after click what appeared to be a Real FarmVille post in your news feed, Stop! You are being asked to install a fake FarmVille application.”There is no need to install multiple apps to play any “One” Zynga game”. Sometimes Zynga will offer in game bonuses if you agree to install and play another one of their games, but these notifications will always occur within the game, NOT BY WALL POST.

Play Hard! Stay Safe! Don’t Fall Into The Free Lunch Trap!

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