Why You Should Be Careful About What You ‘Like’ On Facebook

Print Version
Share to a friend

Facebook  launched a new “like” button last month and users have been more engaged with posts since it

launched. But the problem with “liking” too much content is that Facebook users are often duped into

promoting malicious information, especially if the messages appear to be positive. Malicious content is

able to spread on Facebook through a process known as “like-farming.”

 

How are scammers exploiting “like-farming?” Scammers post positive stories on Facebook to garner a

large number of “likes” and “shares.” And the more engagement a post receives, the higher it will appear

at the top of the News Feed — which is how the scam gets a lot of attention. When the scammer posts a

story, it appears harmless. Sometimes the post shows someone that is going through a hard time and

there is a request to share the story. But the person appearing in the post photo usually does not

know that it is being used by the scammer.

 

Once a certain threshold is met, the scammer will completely change the post or Facebook Page into

products that receive commissions or request credit card numbers. “They may also sell the page and

information that was collected from the ‘likes’ with a more direct threat of gaining access in an attempt

to gather credit card numbers that may be stored for certain Facebook apps, passwords or other personal

information,” said the Better Business Bureau in a new release last year. “New pages created from

gathered data may be used to spread malicious software to compromise data or spread malware. The

best approach is to think before you like.”

 

The typical posts that scammers are known for manipulating tend to be sentimental stories. Sometimes

those posts involve rescue animals or medical posts asking users to reassure someone that they still look

beautiful following the surgery. Other types of “like-farming” posts to watch out for include the ones that

say you can win something like iPhones, iPads or other expensive consumer electronics by liking it or

sharing it.

 

USA Today also said that there were some “like-farming” posts that went viral recently about Powerball

winners sharing their money through Facebook with people that like their posts. And police in Australia

warned Facebook users about a scam involving Qantas Airlines recently. A fake Facebook Page called

“Qantas Air” said the airline was promoting its 94th birthday by giving away 975business class tickets to

anywhere in the world along with $5,000 in spending money to users that like the Facebook Page and

share the post.

 

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2016/03/20/facebook-like-farms/#142e33fccac3