Those bloody Facebook like scams

Virtual Bagel Facebook scam

Where ever there is people being social there’s room for social engineering? Welcome to the Facebook Like scams… A little old but still a pain!

As you may have noticed I’m not exactly a fan of facebook but seeing a few of those crappy “do this now” posts in my timeline irritates me even more. As you can imagine these are just social engineering scams. One of the most common is ‘Press Like if you hate cancer, ignore if you don’t’? but theres many more… Heck even the BBC did a scam to prove it can be done.

The ‘my sister Mallory’ scam
This post stated that someones ‘sister’ Mallory has down syndrome & doesn’t think she’s beautiful. It then asked for ‘likes’ it to show her she is. The REAL story about this little girl is something much different: Read about it here

As usual you can tell by the call to action and social pressure being layered.

So how does it work?

  1. A page is created.
  2. This page put out a constant stream of heart wrenching and/or mildly amusing images that are shared publicly with a call to action to click, share or comment.
  3. These posts are initially shared by a big group of people all in the same network who have all built up their edge rank over a period of time that then results in the posts eventually leaking into the newsfeeds of real-life accounts.
  4. These people share, like or comment which then spreads.
  5. Eventually a friend of yours hits that little thumbs up button
  6. It’s in your newsfeed.

And within 3 days a post like this one has 70,000 likes, and someone somewhere is about to make a nice little profit by selling the page to a business wanting some quick wins.

The buyer then changes some of the page details. BAM! Instant fanpage with a big following, lots of likes and an in depth edge rank, capable of pushing out content to a pre-built list of thousands of Facebook users. (edit: Page name cannot be altered after 200 likes, just details of the page).

And there you have it… Facebook scammed

Thanks to my friends who stupidly fell for the scams on multiple times. I’ll be sending them this blog post in future.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.