Over the past few days I’ve seen a few scams on the Internet.
According to the TV commercial, everything on the Internet is true. How do scams exist?
The first one was a Facebook post featuring Bill Gates:
While Bill Gates is known for his philanthropy, he does not randomly give away money to increase his Facebook followers.
The second one was also a Facebook scam. I will not post the fake pictures of this one, but it involves Porsha Williams and a supposedly released sex tape. I won’t even go into the details behind this, but needless to say, some people are falling for it.
The original Facebook messages are something like:
OMG Kenya Moore Leaked Porsha Williams SexTape Because of their brawl
porsha is so much angry after watching this
or another one:
OMG Porsha Williams Sextape Leaked by Ex-Boyfriend
People who click on these links will be taken to a fake Facebook page which informs you that you can only view the “restricted” video if you share the link with your online Facebook friends.
If you do follow their instructions and share with your Facebook friends, before seeing the video (part of the tip-off this is a scam), you’re directed to a YouTube page where you’re asked to fill out an online survey before watching the video.
You can’t be so desperate to see her in a scandalous video that you’d share this with your Facebook friends and fill out a survey all before seeing the video? Come on people.
Why do the scammers do this?
It’s all about affiliate commission. They earn money for every completed survey.
When you want to get something to spread across the Internet, make it something scandalous, sexy and secret and it will spread like wild fire. This is something that is spread first and then you still don’t get to see what you thought you might, but you’ve already passed it on.
Sometimes, these scams are also used to spread malware. What if at the end of filling out the survey you were directed to a page that said you needed to install a special video viewer.
Your mind quickly thinks, “I’ve gone this far, why not?”
Similar scams will include the lure of winning iPads, Samsung phones, $500 gift cards or other such highly desirable items.
In the case of the fake Bill Gates Facebook post, the scammers might be getting paid to increase Facebook likes.
One of the merits of social media is that you should be able to “safely” share information with friends and customers. However, in that context, when you unknowingly invite scammers and hackers into your circle of trust by spreading their messages, you open all your friends and customers to their scams as well.
Don’t trust everything. With the work we do, I always think, “what’s their motive for publishing this?”
Yes, being doubtful of everyone and everything might mean I miss something. But I know I’ll also miss many opportunities for falling victim to a scam.
My sister-in-law sent me a short video clip of my nephew walking around saying “Battery” with his best James Hetfield (Metallica) voice. I couldn’t watch it because I didn’t have the video player required installed on the computer I was on at the moment. I eventually did see it and was quite proud that my habits have inherited by my nephew.
That’s how I am though. I doubt everyone and everything. This work has made me that way.
Please be careful out there.
Have you come across any scams you want to share? Please post a comment or send an email to me at: email@example.com