No, You Aren’t Going to Get Free Sharpie Markers if you Click That Shady Link
Over the last couple of days, I've been seeing a lot of posts like the one above from friends of mine. They may be artistic people. They may be fans of writing on bathroom walls. They may just be stingy and cheap and like free stuff. None of that matters. What matters is that they all had one thing in common. They got fooled by the internet.
According to Snopes.com, the link being shared first started showing up in February 2016. It is a common link sharing scam. You are required to enter personal information and to share the link again. Then they can catch other people. The site it directs to is not in any way going to send you free markers. It doesn't even have anything at all actually connecting it with Sharpie brands.
In the Facebook post, you can see the address of the link. While at first you may think it's taking you to Sharpie.com, you'll notice that there's more than just that. What you think is the official site is actually just half of the address.
Besides just seeing that address though, it's pretty easy with just a simple Google search to find out that this is a hoax. If you search for "Free Sharpie," All the top results are just stories showing you how this is a hoax.
Now, if all that's not enough, the entire premise of the hoax makes no sense. Much like when we've seen stories of celebrities moving to our hometowns, if you do just a little research you'll realize that the facts don't check out. For one thing, think back about how long you've ever known about Sharpie markers. It probably seems like a lot more than 13 years. It's kind of odd that a company that's been making their product since 1964 would decide to celebrate their 13th Anniversary in 2016.
Now, if you have shared this link and are now utterly embarrassed, don't worry. You weren't alone. Enough people fell for this hoax that Sharpie themselves even ended up having to address it. For a contest limited to "only 872 sets" it would appear that many more than that must have tried. Sharpie posted this on their Facebook page today about the hoax:
Just remember that next time, you can avoid being fooled. Check the link address. Do a Google search. Most of all remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, especially on the interwebs. Sorry for ruining your dream of free markers, but if you want to win something that actually is real, check out some of the awesome things we're giving away right now in our VIP club!