Beware of scams on Facebook

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Social media is becoming more and more like spam in your email box.

Facebook was developed as an outlet to let people see what is going on in their community. However, scams and fake posts tend to show up in newsfeeds as opposed to reliable information about what is going on.

The current trend includes videos with wording like “you won’t believe what happens next.”

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Most of these posts are harmless, leading to an interesting video, but every now and then people fall into a trap that has plagued the Internet since email became popular, scams. Not all of these scams are looking for money. Many just aim to be resent or reposted.

Facebook scams come in several varieties, and while most will not phish your financial data, they are annoying.

The first is reposting an alleged legal statement declaring your posts as copyrighted. Not only does this contradict the privacy policy you agreed to when signing up to Facebook, it fills newsfeeds with misinformation.

Another misleading post is of a fake application that will allow users to see who has been viewing their profile. These are fake; for whatever reason Facebook does not allow users to see who is stalking their profile.

The third is any post offering something for free. I will use the “Bill Gates is giving away $5,000 to anyone who reposts this post” post as an example. No, Bill Gates is not giving away money for reposting a fake post. As with a number of fake information shared on Facebook, this began as an email going back to the 90s. First rule of a scam is if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. So instead of instantly reposting, do a simple Internet search before reposting things.

Everything you read on the Internet is not necessarily the truth. Especially if it’s on Facebook.