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French social media alerted to Thermomix prize scam

French users of the social network Facebook are being warned over the spread of an online scam game that falsely promises players a “chance to win” a "free", high-end Thermomix kitchen mixer.

Thermomix mixers are one of the most sought-after kitchen gadgets online, and are usually sold for around €1,200 each.

Yet, users or pages on Facebook appearing to offer competitions to win a brand new Thermomix for free - and also promising to send the prize directly to your door - are largely fraudulent, a new investigation by French newspaper Le Monde has said.

The competitions usually ask participants to “Like” the page, share the photo or post, and comment on the image. This raises the profile of the page itself, but there is no guarantee of a genuine prize for participants.

The pages often have names like “My Thermomix” or allude to the German brand Vorwerk, which is the original manufacturer of the product. They may have many names, and change pages often, to avoid detection by social media algorithms that attempt to delete fraudulent accounts.

Many of the scams were reported on Facebook, but some were seen on photo sharing platform Instagram too.

Some who claim to have “won” the prize, then reported that they were asked to call a high-cost telephone line and pay expensive shipping fees, with no prize ever actually arriving.

One user on Facebook posted: “Huge scam over a ‘free Thermomix I won’. The site asks you to call and then pay delivery costs. Do not be taken in. Do not take part.”

Another said: “I got scammed like many others; unfortunately the surprise showed up on my bank account.”

On its website, Vorwerk confirms: “The purchase of a Thermomix is only possible by direct sale, in the context of a personalised workshop at the clients’ home.”

It is not possible to win a Thermomix in this type of competition, the Le Monde report confirmed.

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