Clicking 'Like'? You are Helping Spam Go Viral

November 16, 2012

The newest Facebook spam is probably clogging up your newsfeed right now. You've seen them: photos that have ten of thousands of "likes" and a caption that promises something amazing. Despite what these pics claim to be, they are just a way for shady businesses to make money off Facebook.  

How the Scam Works:

An attention-grabbing photo appears in your Facebook newsfeed. The striking image has a caption (such as the one below) that promises something will happen in the photo if you "like" it or leave a particular comment.  

bear jump facebook image

But when you comment on the photo, nothing happens. The photo is just spam gone viral.

What's the point of these photos? Savvy spammers set up Facebook pages and populate them with funny and/or moving images. Each picture has a message that urges users to "like," share or comment on the posts. The images run the gamut from amusing teasers, such as the one above, to heart tugging images of sick children with captions that falsely promise "a dollar donated for each 'like.'"

The more times the images are shared or "liked," the more it boosts the spam page's "edge rank," the score a Facebook page is given to dictate how it interacts with other Facebook profiles. The higher your "edge rank," the more often the page appears in other users' newsfeeds. After the page accumulates enough fans and a high enough "edge rank," the spammers sell it. 

I Spotted Facebook Spam. What Should I Do?   

  • Don't share, like or comment on the images. That just perpetuates Facebook spam.
  • Report spam to Facebook by following these instructions

For More Information

For tips on identifying Facebook scams and ensuring your account is secure, please see Facebook's Help Center

To find out more about scams, check out the new BBB Scam Stopper.

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