Why 'Liking' Facebook Viral Images Makes Scammers Rich
Have you ever seen a Facebook update from one of your friends along the lines: 'you won't believe what happens if you forward this picture to 10 friends'? or... 'click "like" and then check your inbox, you'll be amazed!'?
Ever clicked one?
Despite what you may have expected, nothing actually happens ...that is except some cyber scammer gets a little bit richer.
The pages receive a great big boost in popularity for the simple reason that a) people are intrigued by what will happen and b) they trust their friends, their guard is lower whilst socialising with their friends online. This trust is something cybercriminals prey upon.
Once these pages have collected huge numbers of 'Likes', they are then sold to businesses who use them to make their Facebook page appear more popular.
Facebook rates the popularity of a page by the number of likes and comments it receives, so once a page such as this has been out there for a while - and we are only talking a matter of days, it can accumulate 100,000 likes, this can then be sold for $200, the page details are changed and a business has an instantly popular page with a huge following.
You may wonder what this has to do with your online safety and I have to admit these links do not normally represent an immediate threat, it is more about understanding why these things appear and how your 'click' represents the short-circuit of a valid marketing philosophy. The 'Like' is Facebook's way of deciding whether content is of value to users, so by clicking on the link you are paving the way to attracting more junk to your Facebook experience.