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Thousands targeted in free Ikea gift scam

THOUSANDS of Facebook users have been targeted by a scam offering free Ikea gifts.

Subscribers to Ikea's online network all received notification of the 'offer' in their email accounts.

The email asked them to click a link that led to a pop-up that told them to print it off and bring it to Ikea in Ballymun.

A number of people showed up at the Dublin store, where they learnt no offer existed.

Ikea told customers via its Facebook page to ignore any offer posted on Facebook related to Ikea Dublin and warned them not to open the links.

More than 50 people commented on Ikea's page, raising concerns that the security of its email account had been compromised.

In a statement, the superstore said that the email did not pose any viral threat.

Many feared a repetition of an incident in the US in spring 2010, when 100,000 people were victims of an Ikea $1,000 gift card scam that directed people to become fans of Ikea on Facebook and invite all their friends to join.

They were then directed to a marketing website where they are asked for details such as name, address, date of birth and phone number and directed to sign up to legitimate websites to claim the gift card.

However the gift cards never arrived and the data collected may have been used for ID theft.

hnews@herald.ie