Better Business Bureau calls attention to ‘Like-Farming’ Facebook scam


Why do spammers use like-farming?

One frequent query is why do spammers have interaction in like-farming, and what’s their final goal. This will range between like-farming posts, however generally we discover that like-farming posts exist due to any of the next causes –

To draw followers to web page that will probably be later used to provoke extra severe scams. Like-farming content material that goes viral will inevitably outcome within the web page that posts the content material attracting followers. These followers can now be reached, which means they’re susceptible to Web scams similar to id fraud or uncovered to hyperlinks resulting in websites containing malware.

To lure followers to advertising web sites which might be designed to reap the non-public information of holiday makers. That is very true with faux competitors scams that declare it’s good to go to a hyperlink to say your prize. These guests to go to such web sites and provides out their particulars will probably be bombarded with spam and advertising calls.

To commit advance payment fraud. Customers who, for instance, touch upon a put up, can then be contacted by the scammer who can use a wide range of social engineering tips to steal cash from a Fb person. For instance, the spammer might declare the sufferer has gained a contest however must pay a small upfront payment to say their prize.

Consideration looking for. Many like-farming posts exist just because the spammer desires to draw as many followers as doable, with no actual “finish sport”.


So how are you going to combat again?

There are a selection of issues you are able to do to establish like farming, spam, and scams in your feed.

Double verify the identify. Scammers get away with creating Pages that look official as a result of there’s solely a tiny distinction between the faux firm or movie star identify and the actual one. Telltale indicators are dashes the place there needs to be areas or pointless punctuation. However different adjustments are extra refined, like including or subtracting an “s” (assume “American Airline” v. “American Airways”). Except you’re cautious, these may be troublesome to catch.

Double verify the supply. Any article being shared from a sketchy-looking web site is simply that: sketchy. Make sure that to take a look at the web site url listed on the backside of the put up earlier than clicking to learn!

Look for the verified badge. Real company or celeb

Search for the verified badge. Actual firm or movie star Pages could have a blue tick subsequent to the identify — you’ll be able to belief any contests or giveaways run on these Pages.

Evaluate the content material. If the put up is riddled with misspellings, stuffed with urgency and extreme exclamation factors, or looks as if it’s been translated to English from one other language, that’s a transparent signal that you simply’re not coping with reliable materials.

The Risks Begin With a Like

There are various several types of like-farming posts that you simply want to pay attention to to be sure to aren’t spreading the rip-off. You’ve probably seen them scattered all through your newsfeed. They’re emotional posts that tug in your heartstrings, rallying posts that try and get you agree or disagree by sharing, and magic posts that let you know to remark and share for a particular impact that by no means occurs.

Liking these pictures could appear harmless sufficient, but it surely’s not. Every time you want a put up, your folks and followers can see it too, in order that they’ll share it and the put up will unfold. Chances are high lots of people who see that put up may even like that web page.

Though a web page you want doesn’t have entry to your profile like your folks do (so long as it’s personal), a web page you want can use your profile data to push promotional gives based mostly in your pursuits, tempt you with contests the place you’re requested for private data, and even put up in your behalf.

Once more, which may not appear too horrible. What’s a little bit spam? We’re all used to it. However what in case your family and friends have interaction with the contests and provides out their cellphone quantity and residential handle? Or in the event that they see a tempting provide for a cool obtain, and by chance infect their units with malware? They may even develop into victims of a phishing rip-off by attempting to make a purchase order from an internet site shared on considered one of these profiles, in order that the scammer now has their bank card information.

Scams also can embrace obtain prompts, that are used to unfold malware or for phishing. There are additionally faux information tales which might be concocted after which shared within the hopes of getting extraordinarily gullible customers to present their bank card data to make a financial donation in assist.

So, whereas it’d appear to be nothing to “like” and share a put up about an individual who wants your prayers, you’re really setting off a sequence of occasions that will increase the probabilities of you turning into a sufferer of spam and different fraud.

Fb spam without end?

Till, maybe, we invent know-how that may learn the intentions of an individual making a Web page, we’ll all the time should take care of like farming and different sorts of spam. Hopefully Fb will preserve refining their reporting instruments, however till then, our greatest device to scale back the circulation of spam by our feeds is just ourselves.

You don’t should do it all by your self, although. In the event you’re seeking to ramp up engagement in your Fb viewers — in a non-spammy manner, after all — we may help.

Picture credit score: illustration by Eduardo Salles /