With more than one billion users actively engaging with friends, family members and co-workers on Facebook, we would expect most users to understand when they are being scammed. As it turns out even some of the social networks more experienced users are prone to falling for Facebook page scams. These programs are aimed at building sellable audiences and tricking users into taking other actions that could hurt them financially or ruin their public reputation.
After logging into my Facebook account this morning I noticed that several family members who are regular Facebook users were guilty of sharing a “free iPad” post. Here is the message they offered up to their followers:
Common Characteristics Of Facebook Scam Pages
- It involves a well known and respected brand.
- There is a call for immediate action such as “123 winners selected, still 73 remaining SHARE.
- They ask and even practically beg for users to leave a comment. Those comments in turn lead to more shares from friends and family who trust your judgement.
- The Facebook Scam pages show a photograph of the massive prize allotment. This adds to the “realness” of the fake giveaway.
How To Easily Spot A Facebook Page Scam
After you know the characteristics of a Facebook Scam page it becomes very easy to spot the real accounts from the fake. First, hover over the name of the page. In this case the page claims to be “Apple inc.”
As you hover over the name look in the bottom left hand corner of your browser window.
As you can see the Facebook scam page uses the URL: Facebook.com/AppleOfficial1. A company the size of Apple will be verified if they even feature an official Facebook Page and they likely won’t need to use numbers in their Facebook URL to denote their involvement on the social network.
So how do you spot a real page versus a fake page? If you are investigating a major brand you can conduct a quick search:
Notice that there are NO verified Apple accounts. We conducted the search under Apple, Apple Inc, Apple Computers, and several other possible company names. Now check out the official Nike Facebook pages:
If you see an offer that seems too good to be true and you can’t find a blue checkmark next to the pages name, it is likely a Facebook scam page.
How To Fight Back Against Facebook Page Scams
Once you find a scam on Facebook you can help end the scam by reporting the page as spam. Simply click on the arrow with the little gear icon to the right of the page and then click on “Report Page.”
Mark the page with the option “It’s spam or a scam.”
If enough users mark a page or Facebook randomly investigates a single report the page will be removed before the scam artist can sell the page to a possibly unsuspecting business owner.
Facebook scam pages range from properties that are later turned into sellable pages to products that steal a users personal information for other nefarious reasons.
Have you fallen for a Facebook page scam? Share your story in our comments section.