The Better Business Bureau warns Facebook users to watch out for like-farming scams, which are still going strong after many years. What is like-farming? It's a technique in which scammers create an eye-catching post designed to generate many likes and shares.
Stay Alert – Watch Out For Like-Farming Scams
Here are examples of typical like-farming posts:
As with many scams, like-farming has different aims. When scammers ask you to "register" in order to win something or claim an offer, they're after your personal information. Other versions can be more complex. When the scammer collects enough likes and shares, they may edit the post and add something malicious, such as a link to a website that downloads malware to your machine. Or once scammers reach their target number of likes, they can strip the page's original content and use it to promote spammy products or resell the page on the black market.
- "I bet this post does not get a million likes." The subject may be a mistreated animal, an unfortunate child, or anything else that deserves our sympathy.
- "90 percent of people fail this test." Yet you can come up with the answer in less than 10 seconds.
- "This is your chance to win an iPhone!" The prize could be any desirable and expensive item, but to win, you have to like and share.
- "Combine the month you were born in and the last thing you bought to find your vixen name." By participating, you reveal some of your personal data.
- "Respond to this statement if you are a true friend. I think I know who will answer." If you have "friends" that will unfriend you when you don't participate — good riddance.
To protect yourself, follow these tips:
Remember, if you share worthless (and potentially harmful) like-farming posts, you also risk becoming an annoyance to your Facebook friends. So think before you click.
- Use your good judgement. If a post says you can win something just by sharing the post, it's probably not true. If a post tugs at your heartstrings and isn't about someone you know personally, be wary about the truthfulness of its contents.
- Don't like every post in your feed. Scammers are counting on getting as many mindless likes as possible, so be sure you only like posts and articles that are legitimate. Don't help scammers spread their con.
- Be cautious when it comes to sharing your personal information. Never give out personal information, such as your full name, telephone number, address, etc. to a person or company you don't know or trust.
- Update your web browser. Make sure you always have the latest version of your browser. That way, if you do accidentally click on a scammer's post, your browser will be more likely to warn you about suspicious sites.
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