Costa customers warned about 'free drink' Facebook scan that tricks you into giving crooks your details

COSTA Coffee fans have been warned to watch out for a Facebook scam promising to give users a free drink that actually sees crooks steal your details.

Scammers have set up a page on the social networking site called "Costa UK" that's already amassed a whopping 23,246 followers and 22,466 likes.

The scam was first spotted by Charlotte Burns of the Lotty Earns blog who warned her followers about the page.

Over the past few days the page, which uses the legitimate Costa Coffee logo and a picture of a store on it, has been posting deals that supposedly entitles followers to a free drink.

One post said: "Get a voucher for a free coffee at any Costa store. To get your voucher: Share = one voucher. Share and comment = two vouchers. Like, share and comment = three vouchers.

"Share, comment and like our page = four vouchers."

Another added: "From now until Christmas Day every share will get sent a voucher for a free coffee. Only one per person."

The posts have both been liked, shared and commented tens of thousands of times.

But Costa has confirmed to The Sun that the page is a fake and Facebook says it's taken the page down after we got in touch.

It seems fraudsters are cashing in on a recent genuine offer by Costa, which saw it give away free coffees for one day only from its Express machines.

Facebook says the crooks behind the page can't gather any additional information that isn't already publicly available on your Facebook page though.

But it does give them a quick and easy way to gather data quickly, so check your Facebook privacy settings now to ensure you're not sharing unwittingly sharing private information.

Facebook says you can use its Privacy Checkup tool to review what information from your profile is available.

You can also report scam pages directly on Facebook by clicking the button with the three dots at the top of any page, and then selecting "Find support or report page".

To check if your email address has been compromised in a data breach, you can use the free website HaveIBeenPwned.com.

Ms Burns said: "I see these kinds of scams all the time. They often pretend that someone hasn’t claimed a prize like a car, but if you share it, you’re in with a chance.

"The scammers then harvest your information. That information is then likely to be sold onto the black market for criminals to buy."

If you think you've been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud and to your bank or card provider if cash has been stolen.

Before the post had been removed, a Costa Coffee spokesperson said: “We are aware of the free coffee scam that is live on Facebook.

"This is not a genuine piece of Costa Coffee communication and we urge our customer not to click on the link. We have reported the page to Facebook and requested it is removed immediately.”

A Facebook spokesperson added: "We’ve removed this page for violating our policies.

"We don’t allow scams on Facebook, which is why we have donated £3million to Citizens Advice to deliver a new UK Scam Action Programme, and launched a dedicated scam ads reporting tool in the UK."

Facebook made the donation to Citizens Advice after pressure from MoneySavingExpert.com com founder, Martin Lewis, who has had his photo wrongly used by scammers on the social networking site.

Costa fans were left disappointed earlier this year when broken Express machines left them unable to claim its free drinks deal.

But if you're willing to forgive the coffee chain, you might want to check out its Christmas 2019 menu, which includes a new Irish Coffee flavoured range and a Terry’s chocolate orange muffin.

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