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Better Business Bureau calls attention to ‘Like-Farming’ Facebook scam

The Better Business Bureau is calling the public’s attention to Facebook scams using a scam called “Like-Farming.”

A post advertising a free RV was recently making the rounds on Facebook, using the pandemic to draw attention: “With a lot of people out of work and Covid-19 keeping them out of work we know money is tighter more now than ever! So by 4 PM Monday someone who shares and also comments will be the new owner of this 2020 Jayco Greyhawk RV, paid off and ready to drive away, keys in hand – Jayco.”

The actual company, Jayco, a BBB Accredited Business, has responded on Facebook, saying, “We are not running a giveaway for a 2020 Seneca or any other Jayco RV. We have taken the necessary steps to report the page(s) responsible for the misleading giveaways. If we ever do run any official Jayco sales event or giveaway, it will be promoted through our official Jayco company page. In addition, we would never ask for your personal information, under no circumstance should you provide your personal information to anyone.”

WHAT EXACTLY IS

LIKE-FARMING?

Like-farming on Facebook is a technique in which scammers create an eye-catching post designed to get many likes and shares. Posts often give people emotional reasons to click, like, and share, such as adorable animals, sick children, the promise to win big, or political messages.

WHY DO SCAMMERS

“FARM” FOR LIKES?

As with many scams, like-farming has several different aims. When scammers ask someone to “register” in order to win something or claim an offer, this is a way to steal personal information.

Other versions can be more complex. Often, the post itself is initially harmless — albeit completely fictional. But when the scammer collects enough likes and shares, they will edit the post and could add something malicious, such as a link to a website that downloads malware to someone’s device.

Other times, once scammers reach their target number of likes, they strip the page’s original content and use it to promote spammy products. They may also resell the page on the black market. These buyers can use it to spam followers or harvest the information Facebook provides.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM

LIKE-FARMING WITH THESE TIPS

¯ Use good judgment. If a post says you can win something just by sharing the post, it’s probably not true. If a post tugs at someone’s heartstrings and isn’t about someone they know personally, be wary about the truthfulness of its contents.

¯ Don’t click “like” on every post in a Facebook feed. Scammers are counting on getting as many mindless likes as possible, so be sure to only “like” posts and articles that are legitimate. Don’t help scammers spread their con.

¯ Be cautious when it comes to sharing personal information. Never give out personal information, such as full name, telephone number, address, etc. to a person or company that isn’t known or trusted.

¯ Update web browsers. Make sure to always have the latest version of a preferred web browser. That way, if you do accidentally click on a scammer’s post, the browser will be more likely to warn you about suspicious sites.

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