Don't Fall For This 'Free Red Lobster' Scam

If you were to overhear the words "Red Lobster," what would be the first thing you'd think of? A basket of those warm, flaky Cheddar Bay Biscuits? Endless servings of popcorn shrimp? Their seafood event Lobsterfest that seems to last forever? There are so many things to love about this chain that offers customers a seafood dinner at affordable prices, with more than 672 locations across the United States. (Fun fact: Florida hosts 62, or 9%, of the total locations, via ScrapeHero). 

We bet all this talk about shrimp and cheddar biscuits probably has you craving some Red Lobster right now. Maybe you're even looking up what the specials are going on this month. In fact, if you go to Facebook, you might even see a post from the Red Lobster CEOs themselves offering you and a guest a free meal. What luck! But, before you get ready to call up a date or your friend and tell them to bring over the lobster bibs for dinner, you might want to take a closer look at that so-called "offer." Just like any restaurant or business, Red Lobster's identity can be used by online grifters to lure you into quite a big lobster trap of trouble.

There is no valid voucher for a free meal

The social media post you might see looks like it's sent from the CEO of Red Lobster. More accurately, the message is from the "new CEO of Red Lobster, Kim Lopdrup." In it, Lopdrup announces that they would like to start their new job off right with a "good deed" by rewarding everyone with a free voucher for a lunch or dinner on the house, good for two lucky people. Of course, all Lopdrup wants you to do in return is click on a link, comment on the post, and then share it online. 

Unsurprisingly, this seems to be nothing more than a scam, as Snopes even verified. While the Red Lobster CEO was in fact Kim Lopdrup, who's been in the position since 2014 — and far from being the "new guy" at the helm — he actually announced his retirement in 2021 (via Nation's Restaurant News), naming Kelli Valade the new chief executive officer. Second, the post isn't even from Red Lobster's official account — it's from a supposed fan page, presumably to get other fans to buy into the scheme. While Snopes never said what clicking on the link actually does, it's presumably some kind of phishing scheme to take the victim's personal information.

While there would be nothing better than polishing off cheddar biscuits alongside a free lobster dinner, unfortunately in this case, some things are too good to be true.