IMPORTANT PSA: No, you did not win a gift card.
As some of you may already be aware, certain users are receiving private messages – ostensibly from moderators of large subreddits – in which they are told that they've won a gift card, a cash prize, or a robotic ferret. (I may have made that last one up.) Anyway, we wanted to take a moment to inform everyone of the following:
If you receive a private message telling you that you've won something, it is a scam.
There are a number of ways that illicit accounts operate on Reddit. More often than not, spammers pump up their karma scores until they're past a certain threshold, then either sell their accounts or start submitting links to malware-infested websites and shady retail outlets. (This brief guide will tell you how to spot them… and if that's too long for you, this tongue-in-cheek video will offer the same information.)
More recently, though, we've seen this new breed of parasite making the rounds. They register usernames that look like they could be associated with various Reddit communities (provided that you don't examine their profile pages too closely), then they contact users directly, thereby bypassing most of what moderators can do to combat them. If you receive one of their messages, here's what to do:
- Do not click any of the links that it provides.
- Report the account to the administrators.
- Block the account in question.
Remember, everyone, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
That's why we don't have robotic ferrets yet, sadly.