Browse Definitions:
Definition

Facebook scam

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A Facebook scam is a post or page on the popular social networking site designed to deceive users and spread rapidly through their personal networks. Scams are sometimes created for identity theft or to spread malware but the usual purpose is financial gain – the more frequently a post is liked and shared, the more money the scammer makes.

Scam pages are designed to compel users to click the Like button, leave comments or share posts, usually by appealing to people’s curiosity, greed or compassion. In one common type of hoax, the scammer creates a page for the (supposed) benefit of a sick child and posts a picture claiming that, for example,  Facebook will donate $1 towards a needed operation for every “Like” the page gets.

Once the page gets enough “Likes,” the scammer can sell it to someone who will  change page details and instantly have a high-ranking page for their business. The high-ranking page will appear more prominently in people’s Facebook news feeds. Depending on the numbers of Likes and followers, Facebook fan pages can be sold for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Given the negligible effort required to create a Facebook page, hoaxes can be very lucrative for the scammer.

Some other common Facebook hoaxes and scams:

  • Gift card giveaways, such as a claim that Starbucks is giving out $50 cards.
  • Fake Amber Alerts claiming that a child was abducted and appealing to users to share the message to aid in the search.
  • Product giveaways  (offers of free iPads are very common).
  • Posts that ask the user to click “Like,” share, and type something in the comments to “see what happens” (nothing).
  • Warnings related to Facebook’s privacy rules that compel  users to make unnecessary and counterproductive changes to their settings.
  • Fake contests, which often appeal to people that aren’t likely to believe any business is giving away money or products.

To avoid getting fooled – and possibly worse – avoid Liking and sharing posts that you aren’t sure of. If you’d like to check out a posts authenticity, just copy some identifying text and paste it into a search engine along with the word “hoax” or “scam.”

In this video, Phil Bradley explains Facebook scams:

See also: disinformation, linkbaiting, likebaiting, likejacking, clickjacking, sock puppet, sock puppet marketing, astroturfing

This was last updated in October 2013

Continue Reading About Facebook scam

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

  • evil maid attack

    An evil maid attack is a security exploit that targets a computing device that has been shut down and left unattended.  An evil ...

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • rootkit

    A rootkit is a program or, more often, a collection of software tools that gives a threat actor remote access to and control over...

SearchHealthIT

  • value-based healthcare

    Value-based healthcare, also known as value-based care, is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for providing ...

  • health informatics

    Health informatics is the practice of acquiring, studying and managing health data and applying medical concepts in conjunction ...

  • clinical trial

    A clinical trial, also known as a clinical research study, is a protocol to evaluate the effects and efficacy of experimental ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...

SearchStorage

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform

    Red Hat OpenStack Platform is a commercially supported distribution of open source OpenStack software designed to build and ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close