Coffee lovers across North America beware: If someone offers you a free cup of java on Facebook, it’s probably too good to be true.

A scam popped up on Facebook over the weekend promising users a free Tim Hortons gift card if they liked a page and shared it with their friends. Users were then asked to provide their email address and other sensitive personal information.

The scam branched out to Starbucks fans, with a page purportedly offering free gift cards to celebrate the Seattle coffee giant’s 40th anniversary.

Thousands of people shared the pages before they were removed by Facebook. Free voucher scams are a standard formula for fraudsters gunning for people’s personal information.


The scam also spread via email, with some version of the Tim Hortons scam offering $25 gift cards, supposedly to celebrate the chain’s 25th anniversary. Tim Hortons was founded in 1964, making it 47 years old.

The Timmies scam also asked users to write a note of thanks on the page’s wall. The suggested phrase includes a valiant, yet failed attempt at Canadian spelling: “Free Coffee and Donughts, Thanks.”

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