It feels like a new scam pops up on Facebook daily. We just warned you about one making the rounds earlier this week.
Yep, you guessed it, there is a new one that you need to watch out for. People are falling for it all across the country.
What's the latest scam going around Facebook?
The latest scam victimizing Facebook users preys on their sweet tooth. A fraudulent coupon said to be good for one free box of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, is showing up on Facebook users' News Feeds. It looks like this:
Image: Example of fraudulent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts coupon circulating on Facebook.
A few people posted the coupon on Krispy Kreme's official Facebook page, asking if it is real. The company responded with, "This is fake. We are not promoting this. It is a scam and unauthorized by Krispy Kreme."
In reality, this coupon is the latest example of a like-farming scam. Like-farming is exactly what it sounds like.
Scammers post something on Facebook for the purpose of cultivating likes and shares. Based on the way the social media site 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 swindler more viewers for posts that trick people out of information or send them to sites containing malicious downloads. The original post most likely has nothing dangerous about it. Only after the post gets a certain number of likes and shares does the scammer edit it and add something malicious.
Krispy Kreme will actually be celebrating its 80th anniversary on Friday, July 14. Which is why this coupon scam is easily tricking people and rampant social media sites.
If you see this fake post in your News Feed, it's a good idea to report it to Facebook. That could help stop it from spreading more widely. You should actually report all of the scams that you find on the site.
Here are the steps to report a post:
- Click the downward pointing arrow in the top-right corner of the post.
- Click Report post or Report photo.
- Select the option that best describes the issue and follow the on-screen instructions.
How to avoid like-farming scams
There are many posts on Facebook that can be used for like-farming. A good example is one that asks you to like and share it so you can win something. There have been several recently claiming to be from travel agencies, offering a free trip to one lucky person who likes and shares the post.
You will frequently see posts that are supposedly from someone who recently won a large sum of money from a lottery. If you like and share the post, you could get a share of the winnings.
It isn't just individual posts either; it can also be an entire page. A scammer might set up a page for "I love turtles," or what appears to be a legitimate company or organization.
Just enough content is posted to get a ton of likes, then the scammer switches the content to spam and/or malicious links that could infect your gadget. Once you've "liked" the page, everything now the cybercriminal puts up goes on your News Feed, and in some cases, your friends' feeds as well.
Follow these tips and they will help you avoid Facebook like-farming scams:
- Be smart about what you like and share on Facebook - Don't just reflexively click "like" on everything.
- Take a look at where the post is coming from - If it's from someone you don't recognize, it could be a friend of a friend or it could be a complete stranger.
- Notice the content and whether it promises anything for liking or sharing - If it does, it's a good chance that it's a scam of some kind. The same goes if you feel pushed or pressured into clicking like or share. If your local grocery store is offering a free shopping spree for one lucky person, check with the store personally to see if it's real.