Like Farming – Like This Post if You Want to Get Scammed
Like This Post if You Want to Get Scammed
Have you noticed a rise in unusual and intriguing headlines one Facebook lately? There is a good possibility that these stories are fake. It is common for Facebook users to like these types of posts that their friends post just to show them they saw it, but this is where the scammers get you. By “liking” the link, you are in fact promoting it, and when more Facebook users see the link, more users are likely to click on the link. This is where the trouble starts.
First of all, liking and clicking on the articles causes your friends’ newsfeed to be filled with unwanted links, which can of course be annoying to your Facebook friends. However, and more importantly, selecting these phony articles does not only collect information about you and your friends for marketing purposes, but also collects important private data from your computer, such as credit card information and passwords.
Also, almost as troubling as the breach in privacy on your computer, these posts can later be edited by companies to appear as though you liked things you never would have liked, thus hurting your online reputation. For example, you may think you are liking an article your friend posted about politicians or conjoined twins, then look back on your newsfeed later and instead see that you apparently liked a fishy-sounding medical company that you have never even heard of.
What are some examples of some Facebook like-farming posts, you ask? Anything that seems unreal or suspicious in nature. Some posts may say that by simply selecting the link, you could win a million dollars, or will receive a free computer if they are one of the first 100 likes. Some of these fake articles may also be appeal to other emotions, like sharing a photo of a child who has cancer, or asking you to share a link to prove your belief in God. Unless you know where these articles originated, it is best not to like them, as they could very well be a scam.
Some families have even alerted the police and the media that their personal photos are being stolen and used for these fake stories. One woman’s birth announcement in Connecticut was used in a fake Facebook story, claiming she had given birth to her 14th child, and all 14 children had different fathers. This of course was not true.
To help prevent a Facebook farming scam from happening to you, follow these important tips:
- Carefully review each post that contains a link before you like it.
- Only post or like news articles from credible news sources.
- Avoid sharing or liking emotional posts about strangers.
- Do not like a post to get free stuff, especially if there is no company attached to it. If you do recognize a company name in the headline, check the company website to verify the content of the post.
- When it doubt, do not like or click.
- If you select a friend’s link may be suspicious, let them know as soon as possible.
Like farming on Facebook is scary, but the best way to fight back is with information. Save your liking to credible posts by following the tips above, then rest free and carry on with the cute cat videos.