If you or someone you know has a cat, you've probably heard of Ebo.
Ebo is a smart, small robot that rolls around the house autonomously. It's designed to keep your cat company, engage with them, and provide stimulation for when they are home alone.
Ebo began on Kickstarter and is becoming a popular gift for the upcoming holidays or simply for people who like buying items for their pets, making it an attractive scam for cybercriminals.
How does the scam work?
Scammers create ads on Facebook posing as Ebo sellers that lead to a cloned site that looks like Ebo's Kickstarter page.
The cloned sites manipulate innocent customers by stealing the videos, texts, and images from the original page. These sites look so real and have left many angry customers who received robots that aren't nearly as smart or neat-looking as the real Ebo.
Ebo themselves posted a warning on their Facebook warning people from the fake ads and saying that the only place to get the real Ebo is from their Kickstarter page:
How can I protect myself from falling for fake Facebook ads?
When there is a popular product, there will be scams trying to steal a piece of the pie. Follow these safety rules to make sure you get the original item:
- Go the Facebook page that posted the ad and check if it's the original page.
- Look at the bottom of the ad to see what site it leads to. For example, in the Ebo scam, many led to a site called "Arriba" which is nowhere near the Kickstarter domain.
- Use a browsing security tool that will detect cloned sites before you enter them. Guardio, for example, will give you an alert so that even if you clicked the ad, you would know this site is dangerous, and you can back out.
- Keep track of your bank statements. Did you order something from Kickstarter but were charged by someone else? That should be a red flag.
- Report to Facebook about fake ads so that you can help protect others. Alert the company that's being copied so that they can be aware and help protect their customers too.
- Be EXTRA aware around the holidays. Every year there are new popular toys that become the season's craze. Scammers capitalize on this and lure victims with fake ads, leaving them with no gifts and empty pockets.
Let us know if you spot any Facebook scams so that we can help spread the word and keep our community safe.