If you're planning to shop at Smyths Toys watch out for a fake Facebook page that scammers have created to try and con people. It offers the chance to win a €300 (£263) gift card if you like and share the page.

What to watch out for

The fake Facebook page is hard to distinguish from the real thing as you can see below.

Smyths Toys Facebook scam (image: Facebook)

As a result, over 25,000 people have liked the page and over 11,000 have shared the fake competition to win a €300 Smyths gift card.

Smyths Toys Facebook scam (image: Facebook)

How the con works

Once you have liked the fake page the con artists can then harangue you with other scam website posts as well as gain access to your Facebook profile, which could include personal information such as your phone number and date of birth.

Similar scams in the past have resulted in victims having their phone numbers signed up to premium rate services meaning they have been charged hundreds of pounds.

Smyths Toy Superstore are aware of the fake page and are trying to get it removed.

[Read more: New PayPal email scams to watch out for]

Christmas scams

The run up to Christmas is a popular time for criminals to target people on Facebook by setting up fake brand pages.

There are several tell-tale signs a Facebook page is dodgy:

  1. How many pictures are there? Criminals will only add a couple of pictures so at first glance the page seems real.
  2. How old is the page? If it has only been set up in the past few days, it is probably dodgy.
  3. Is it verified? Most big brands will have their Facebook pages verified to prove they are genuine. This will mean they have a blue or grey tick on the page.

What to do

If you have liked a page that you think might be fake report it to Facebook and unlike the page, making sure the page no longer has access to your profile information.

If you have also shared a competition, delete the share so more people aren’t caught up in the scam.

More on scams and how to avoid them