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Review: The latest Facebook scams to watch out for

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Scams on the web seem to never go away. The latest scams or rumors on Facebook increase as the company continues to add users at home and around the world.
The largest social network with one billion active users houses a lot of online activity. Social networking at an all time high, now houses scams that users should be worried about. The latest rumor circulating the platform included a posted message about “Facebook Privacy Notice” in order to prevent the use of the material users contributed to the website.
The notice quickly circulated the company’s website shortly after the announcement of its new privacy guidelines. The origin of the post is yet unclear and perhaps it may be some sort of protest over this new privacy policy change.
The viral effect of the post was read and shared throughout the site. What was advised as soon as experts began debunking the meaning of the post was to ignore it because it was cluttering news feeds.
The Social Media Analytics and Digital Company, Socialbakers, analyzed in great detail and simplified is too much jargon.
“This message encourages users to publish a Facebook privacy notice to stop the public use of material they post on the network. It may seem credible as it’s written in technical legal terms, but the truth is that by reposting this message, users have been spreading misinformation and cluttering news feeds with irrelevant content,” according to the blog post.
The analytics company went on to describe eight other scams that users should identify and try to avoid as much as possible.
The message is more than a dozen sentences and several lines long. Below is an excerpt:
“In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times! (Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws, By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's di­rection or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1–308–308 1–103 and the Rome Statute). Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.”
The response from Mark Zuckerberg’s team can be found on the Newsroom portion of the site and had this message posted:
Copyright Meme Spreading on Facebook
“There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users' information or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.”
The Social Media News Guide, Mashable, had an article on the matter as “Don’t Fall For Fake Facebook Privacy Notice” with lots of background along with similar examples that occurred months earlier.
List of top Facebook scams compiled by Socialbakers and are the following:
1. Find Out Who Has Been Looking at your Profile: this scam claims that it will show you who has been viewing your profile and who has blocked you from theirs, but none of these apps work because Facebook doesn’t provide such information to developers.
2. Free Items and Gift Cards: don’t expect to get anything for free just by completing a survey.
3. New Facebook Features: some apps promise to change your Facebook color or to provide you with a dislike button, but make sure you install them only from trusted and well-known developers.
4. Free iPads & iPhones: messages stating that you can win a free iPad or iPhone are usually just a thought-out marketing trick.
5. Free Facebook Credits: basically you shouldn’t trust anything that offers something for free. When it sounds too good to be true, you can be pretty sure it’s a scam, just like free credits for Facebook games like Farmville, Cityville etc.
6. Breaking News: scammers know that most users will click on a link promising exclusive coverage, so stay alert and if you are not sure, check with online media websites for the story first.
7. Help, I Need Your Help And Money: if you get a message from a friend saying he has been robbed somewhere abroad and he is left with no phone, passport or money and then asks you for help beware – his Facebook account has probably been hijacked by scammers. You can verify this also by asking your mutual friends if they received an identical message.
8.Shocking Headlines and Fake Celebrity Stories: scammers also often use sensational news or false stories with a headline including words like “shocking” because Facebook users tend to share them without verifying the news.
9. False Privacy Settings: scammers mainly want to get your login details, so make sure to verify messages claiming to be from Facebook security. Even the examples above show that they can look very credible and trustworthy.
Recommended websites for identifying scams
Visiting the Facebook’s Press room website can be found here and it's packed with lots of useful information for users including a “Fact Check” menu to answer questions regarding any recent scams or malicious software identified.
Hoax-Slayer is another blog that has detailed and up-to-date news on the latest hoaxes on the internet. Its one of the many useful resources to cross reference when in doubt.
Facebook’s growth in a short time has revealed many great novelties as well as pitfalls. The wonderful resource that connects everyone online is a double edge sword and now should be used with extreme caution. Information is everything and we are reminded that we are being watched. When in doubt ask questions before acting upon unclear information.

3 comments

#1Nov 27, 2012 Leigh Goessl
Great read and advice. (as an aside, it's amazing of the lifespan some of these scams as people must still be falling for them).
#2Nov 27, 2012 Anthony Carranza
Thank you Leigh for the kind words. Great content you have and lots of articles I will check out soon!
#3Nov 28, 2012 Robert Robertson
I have been trying to see just what the scam is all about, and to my amazement, I cannot. There is always a legal purpose for any company to disclose and to advise people of policy changes which will occur in the future. While pending, if this had some founded validity then it would serve that purpose, if not then there is no lose from what I have read. It sounds more like a practical joke if you ask me. Being able to search and find out just how many people actually took the time to write or copy this hoopla into their streamline. That is why it is called a joke, to make you believe that it's genuine when there is nothing to support it. If you want to know if something can be considered as a legal matter, you should always (This is in no form, written or spoken, legal advise and I am not to be considered as an attorney. Nor is this to be considered as an attorney/client relation), there is going to be a legal statement to which you must comply, along with expectations from both which makes both parties accountable to the changed policies. Unless you hear or read this, you most likely won't be dealing with this for long.

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