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Almost everyone has Facebook these days. While Facebook’s popularity among young people is plummeting, it remains a popular platform for people of all ages – and all intelligence levels.
That’s why Facebook is one of the biggest targets for online scams.
Today, I’m going to show you the most popular Facebook scams out there today and explain exactly how you can avoid those scams:
5) “See who is checking out your profile!”
All scams tempt users in some way or another. This scam tempts your curiosity.
We would all like to see who’s been creeping our Facebook profile. How often does your ex-girlfriend check your page? What about your parents? Or that hot girl you just added for your group project at university?
Unfortunately, Facebook never has and never will roll out a feature like this.
In the rare chance that Facebook does roll out such a feature, it’s going to be a massive news story.
If you see someone repost a link or anything that promises to let you see who viewed your profile, don’t fall for it. You’re smarter than that. Plus, you don’t even care about what your ex-girlfriend does on Facebook, do you?
4) “If I get a million likes I can [something stupid]”
Out of all the scams on this list, this is the one that personally annoys me the most.
You’ve all seen your friends like pages like this. It’s ridiculous and most of them (but not quite all of them) are fake.
They may have titles like “My fiancé will let me name my son batman if this gets 1 million likes!” or “My dad said I can get this puppy if I get 10,000 likes!!”
Sure, some of these campaigns are real, but the vast majority are fake. In fact, scammers regularly use these silly campaigns to make a lot of money.
Facebook pages can be sold for hundreds of dollars. Facebook pages with hundreds of thousands of likes are exceptionally valuable. You can sell a Facebook page to someone, they change the name of the Facebook change to their business, and then they instantly have a massive following. That’s all people are doing with this scam.
3) “Official” warning from Facebook
When Facebook sends out an official message about anything it’s big news. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped people from believing every Facebook “warning” scam that pops up on the site.
Fake Facebook warnings include:
-Password reset warnings
-A warning that Facebook will start charging users money to use the site
-Warning from Facebook’s “drug task force” that it has identified drug terms in your message history
First of all, Facebook doesn’t read your messages – at least as far as anybody knows. They do, however, scan your messages in order to catch sexual predators – which is why that last drug warning scam is so good.
The latest scam is from the “Facebook Drug Task Force (FDTF)” which indicates that you have used drug terms in your message history. A disappointing number of people fell for this.
Anyways, if you receive a warning from Facebook, it’s not real. If Facebook needs to warn you about anything, they’ll send you an official Facebook email.
2) Fake celebrity death stories
Celebrities die every week. It takes a special kind of human garbage to leverage someone’s death into an opportunity, but that’s exactly what Facebook scammers do.
You’ll see plenty of celebrity death-type scams on Facebook. One popular type of scam is “EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF [CELEBRITY’S] DEATH!!”
You may also see something like “Last phone call between Robin Williams and spouse!” or other such links.
Ultimately, if you really care about that celebrity, take a few minutes to Google the story before you click on a random Facebook link. That way, you’re not going to get suckered into some crazy scam.
1) Anything that’s too good to be true – from concert tickets to free vacations
There’s one mantra I’ve always used to avoid scams online:
“If you see something on the internet that’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”
Nobody is going to give you free concert tickets, free Superbowl tickets, or free vacations to Mexico. You’re not going to win a contest you didn’t even enter, and you’re not the heir to some Nigerian prince’s fortune.
Avoid the temptation and think twice.
When in doubt, Google the message
Facebook is the world’s largest social network. Do you really think Facebook can just add or remove a feature without people noticing? When Facebook does anything it’s big news.
The next time you see a scam-like link, picture, or story on Facebook, take a few minutes to Google it. See if there are any recent news stories about it.
If there aren’t any news stories about it, or you see a “Facebook scams”-type article come up, then you know you should smarten up.