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Don't click 'like' on Facebook again until you read this

Don't click 'like' on Facebook again until you read this
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

Facebook has changed the way people do a lot of things online. For example, you probably notice yourself reflexively clicking 'like' on anything your friends post on Facebook, even if it's just to acknowledge you saw it. Scammers are taking advantage of that reflex for a dangerous scam called "like-farming."

What is like-farming?

Like-farming is when scammers post an attention-grabbing story on Facebook for the express purpose of cultivating likes and shares. Based on the way Facebook works, the more likes and shares a post has, the more likely it is to show up in people's News Feeds.

This gives the scammer more eyeballs for posts that trick people out of information or send them to malicious downloads. The big question, of course, is why Facebook doesn't stop these posts before they get too big. And that's where the real scam comes in.

How the scam works

Scammers have found a simple way to fly under the radar during the early phases of their operation. The story they originally post to Facebook has nothing dangerous about it. It's just a regular story that anyone might post.

Only after the post gets a certain number of likes and shares does the scammer edit it and add something malicious. In fact, if you go back through your history of liked posts, you might find that some of them have changed to something you wouldn't have liked in a million years. By the way, if you’re not sure how to review your likes, click here for the step-by-step instructions.

So, what kinds of stories do scammers start with to trick people into liking and sharing?

Next page: Posts that should give you pause
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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