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5 dangerous Facebook scams spreading like fire now

4. Machupo virus scam

Another like-farming scam going around now is an urgent message warning people not to take a certain medication. It says it is a new, very white and shiny paracetamol labeled P/500.

The post claims that doctors are telling patients that the pill contains the "Machupo" virus and is one of the most dangerous viruses in the world. Now, we're not talking about a computer virus here, we're talking about a virus that a human would contract.

Not only is this message showing up as a post in users' News Feeds, but some are even receiving it as a message from their contacts in Facebook Messenger.

The warning is not real. It's intended to scare people so they share it with everyone on their contacts list.

Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah commented on the warning and said the Machupo virus is not able to survive in a dry environment like one of these pills. He also said this virus is spread through rat urine or feces and the public should not believe warnings like this posted on social media. If you ever have concerns about taking medication you should consult your physician.

If you see a post like this in your News Feed, it's a good idea to report it to Facebook. That could help stop it from going viral. Here is how to report a post:

  1. Click the downward pointing arrow in the top-right corner of the post.
  2. Click Report post or Report photo.
  3. Select the option that best describes the issue and follow the on-screen instructions.

Here are some other tips to help stop like-farming scams:

  • Your best bet is to be very judicious 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. It would be good to find out.
  • Notice the content and whether it promises anything for liking or sharing. If it does, it's a good clue that it's a scam of some kind. The same goes if you feel pushed or pressured into clicking like or share.
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