We’ve all seen those “like and share” stories on Facebook, right? Some are harmless, some are funny, but some are dangerous and here’s why.
Let’s say I create a post on Facebook with some great (true or made up, it doesn’t matter) story and ask people to like and share it. People do, and as time goes by it gathers momentum. Now that post’s been liked by tens of thousands of people. It HAS to be a good post, right? Now let’s take that post that’s so liked and edit it. “Look at these cute puppies” or whatever it said before gets completely removed and replaced with an ad for some dodgy product. When people look at that page now, what they see is that tens of thousands of people liked the ad that says “Make millions within a week by doing this one simple thing”. Tens of thousands of people liked it, so it must be good, right? Of course not. It’s a complete scam designed purely to make one person money, and that one person is me! Anyone else who tries it only loses money, but the likes the post has makes it appear that it actually does work. And that in a nutshell is how like farming works and why liking and sharing these posts is bad. The best thing to do if someone sends you one is to break that chain, not like or share it and tell the person who sent it to you why it’s such a bad idea.
Out of curiosity today, I did some research regarding how many posts and topics have been made on our forum in the past 12 months. Here’s what I discovered:
We received 5000 sextortion reports and made 2000 topics. Not all the forms we receive have enough information to be able to post it publicly. In those cases, we have a single topic in a “staff only” area for us to keep track of them. On average, around 1 in every 5 reports we receive are not posted in the public area.
Our 419 section had roughly 8500 posts and 2200 topics. That’s an average of around 23 posts a day.
The romance scam section has 2500 posts in 500 threads.
Our refugee scam section had 300 posts in 16 threads.
These are just in the “scam reports” section of our forum, and doesn’t take into account the work that goes into shutting down scammer websites etc. That’s a lot of work in getting the word out, wouldn’t you say?
Valentines Day is fast approaching, and scammers are going to hit hard on those looking for love online. Back in 2014 we were lucky enough to be able to give a presentation to the dating site industry about the ways to spot romance scammers. Since then, it’s been made into a web based presentation and added to/tweaked on a fairly regular basis to keep up with the latest trends used by scammers. Even today it’s had some extra information added. If you want to check it out, it’s at https://scamsurvivors.com/romancescammers/#/