You are scrolling through your news feed on Facebook and you see “click like for a chance to win a brand new IPad!” Guess what! It is a scam and whoever is behind it wants nothing more than for you to scroll your mouse over and hit that like button. Unfortunately, Facebook is littered with posts that have every intention of stealing your log in credentials or simply taking advantage of your friends and family. Every time you click on one of these infamous posts, you run the risk of becoming a victim of click bait.
You might ask: What can I watch out for and how can I tell the difference? Well the answer is really simple. If it is too good to be true, then it is usually a scam. Nobody hands out free IPads on Facebook for no apparent reason at all. What they will do is seduce you into clicking on there post and then sell the page that hosts the link to people willing to pay thousands of dollars for it, because 80,000 people thought they would get a free IPad for liking the page. These people then make money off of the high traffic to this sight from advertising revenue and other online money making techniques.
There are many different methods used to try and draw your attention to these posts and to attract your interest. Some techniques are more sophisticated than others, but they all cause the same amount of trouble. Here is a brief explanation of some of the most popular Facebook scams:
- New Sealed Free Electronics
- These are those posts that encourage you to like them in order to win some brand new electronic worth hundreds of dollars. 99.9% of the time there are no free IPads or IPhones.
- See Who Has Viewed Your Profile
- This is not possible, especially because Facebook is strict about your privacy and does not share information like that with other users. Allowing people to see who is viewing there profile would violate the Facebook User Agreement.
- Change the Colors and Features of Facebook
- Once again Facebook does not offer any special features allowing you to change the way Facebook is set up. Its a standard look for everyone with very little customizing options. Facebook blue is not going anywhere so there is no point in trying to change it.
- Breaking News and Shocking Headlines
- These are always my favorite scams because they are just crazy enough to really grab your interest. I will never forget the one that got me. The post was titled “18 Dead in shocking roller coaster accident”. Just a simple completely false news article that lead you to a site containing malware and other harmful software.
- Share and You Will Have Good Luck
- This one is easy… sharing posts does not bring you good luck!
- Give Money for Every Like
- Most of the Facebook posts with pictures of sick children or people in unfortunate situations are not real. Sadly scam artist will find these pictures and try to get you to feel sorry for the individuals so that you will like there post and spread their malicious material.
- Its Really Works Type Posts
- These are always my favorite to come across because they are so ridiculous. These scams will tell you that if you click on the post a certain way something on the screen will change, but of course nothing ever happens. These are just another attempt at convincing you to click on a post.
Now that you know the basic concepts of how these scams work, it is important to remember that you should never have to re-log in to Facebook after clicking a post. If you do click a post and it asks you to re-log in then its a phishing scam. How these scams work is by tricking people into logging into a fake Facebook log in page that really only captures their log in info and tells them that there sign in attempt has failed. Be very careful of these scams because of the damage they may cause. Always look for the green security lock at the beginning of the URL before entering any log in information.
Also, keep in mind that there are many different types of scams on Facebook and no way for me to cover every specific one. In my opinion, it is important to use common sense when scrolling through your news feed and think before you click. If you accidentally click on one of these scams don’t panic… change your account password and run a virus scan because you can never be to safe.