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A Tim Hortons coffee cup is seen on the ground outside a shop near Times Square in New York August 26, 2014. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)
A Tim Hortons coffee cup is seen on the ground outside a shop near Times Square in New York August 26, 2014. (BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

crime

Facebook ‘friend’ steals woman’s Tim Hortons prize Add to ...

A Newfoundland woman says she lost a $100 Tim Hortons gift card — and a friend — after she posted a photo of the prize-winning cup to Facebook.

Margaret Coward won the gift card in the coffee chain’s Roll Up The Rim contest last Friday. But when she attempted to redeem the prize online about 45 minutes later, it had already been claimed.

She realized as she talked to a Tim Hortons customer service representative that someone was able to swipe the gift card by entering the security code on the cup, clearly visible in the photo Coward had posted.

“He said, ‘You didn’t share it with anyone, right?’ I said, ‘Uh, kinda.“’

Coward thinks her privacy settings limited potential viewers to her approved friends — but she has more than 900 on Facebook.

“I’m a bit well-known around here,” Coward said Tuesday.

“Obviously I don’t have a really good friend there. I really gotta go through my friends list and clean it up.”

She said Tim Hortons has since told her they will honour her win, and that her prize is now on its way to her through express mail.

But the chain itself did not confirm that, saying only in a statement Tuesday that it introduced the PIN code as a convenience to allow winners to collect their gift card online, rather than having to mail in the winning tab as was previously necessary.

“As these are unique PIN codes, we do not encourage our guests to post images of their tabs on social media until they have redeemed their prize,” Jodi Bond, the communications director for the chain’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International, said in a statement.

Coward, a high school secretary who lives outside St. John’s, said she had 903 Facebook friends before she posted about her win, but soon after was down to 902.

“Beware of what you post,” she said. “Not all friends are real friends. I’m a friend short.”

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