Right now on our Facebook page there’s a warning about a scam on the social media site tricking people into liking and sharing a bogus page.
Since the warning went up, we’ve heard from several of you who have already fallen for it.
So we looked into how scammers are using those likes and what impact it could have on you.
If you search for Disney World on Facebook, you may come up with a few pages that have pictures of Mickey Mouse balloons, Cinderella’s Castle and the promise of a chance to win tickets to the theme park. All you have to do is “like and share.”
A lot of people told us, they did, before they found out it’s a scam.
“I saw your post on Facebook yesterday saying that it wasn’t real and I’m like, oh you’re kidding me,” said Tammy McKeown in Hendersonville, NC.
WHAT’S THE HARM IN “LIKING?”
She said she thought the most she lost out on was the “hope of winning.”
“I shared it and I liked the page, what could it hurt,” she said.
We found out, it could hurt a lot more than you think.
“The way it becomes dangerous is that once that page has established credibility with thousands and hundreds of thousands of likes, they can then change the content of that page to something malicious be it false advertising or links that could be malicious in intent,” said Kevin Hodges with the IT Department at USC Upstate.
That means you and your friends are more likely to see deceptive posts and other scams in your feed.
So why do scammers do this? Its lucrative. Security experts say on the black market they can get at least 1000 bucks for pages that earn 100,000 likes. That’s why when one’s deleted you’ll find several more that pop up just like it.
“I like to think of myself as a little bit smarter than that but apparently I’m not, so that makes it kind of sad for me, you know I feel bad,” she said.
We added up the likes of 10 similar bogus Disney World pages that were still active and found and you’re in a company of more than 200,000.
Those pages remain active until enough people report them that Facebook takes them down.
That’s just what Mckeown did.
If you fell victim, you’ll also want to update your anti-virus software, and be extra cautious about clicking posts in your Facebook feed.
By the way, it’s not just Disney that has been ripped off. These copycat pages can target lots of well known companies and people. It’s called
HOW DO YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?
– One rule of thumb if you’re sniffing out scam pages is to look to see when it was created. The older the page, the more established.
– Also, scammers will often put a period at the end of the company’s name. That’s not something the real company would do.
– Plus, be leery of any post that offers a prize or something free in exchange for “likes.”