a wise owl looks on at Facebook scams
Random Musings,  Technology

True or False – Be a Wise Owl

Great big giveaways

Did you hear? Tesco and Morrisons are giving away £50 coupons like they are free sweeties. All you have to do is share a link post on Facebook. Awesome. I will take some of that. I mean, we all need a little extra help at Christmas don’t we? Go on, get over there now. It only lasts a day.

Did anyone win that RV by the way? I mean, that was some serious kit. And all for a like and a share on Facebook. Three seconds. That’s got to be worth a punt surely?

As for Michelle not paying for her holiday, that’s just crazy. How did she miss her deadline? But it’s really kind of the holiday company to let someone have her place for free, isn’t it. I hear New Zealand is fabulous at this time of year. Oh, hang on, or was Michelle meant to be going to Mauritius. I can’t remember now. But I have liked and shared them all. Just in case.

But the ones that really get to me are the posts about a sick child in hospital or the animal cruelty. They break my heart every time. We really need to share these as far, and as wide, as possible, to raise more awareness. Don’t we?

I haven’t!

I don’t!

Just so you know.

Marie sees a Facebook scam

She doesn’t like or click

She scrolls right on by

Be like Marie

But, seriously, what makes us fall for this rubbish? Fake news, hoax, scam, whatever you want to call it.

“It’s free, Marie! It does no harm, and you never know, it might be real this time”

My friends, you are all smarter than that. You really are. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Correction. There is no probably about it. It just is.

So stop it

Honestly, you are clogging up my news feed with this crap. So much so I have un-followed you. Which is sad because now I won’t see your really good news stories. We are still friends, right, I just can’t bear to see you keep doing this to yourself.

I also went and checked the page and guess what? Renamed last week. Now has thousands of followers. But it looks a bit suspect now, if I am honest. No more holidays for free over there. No, don’t go look.

Click bait

You are the bait. You couldn’t resist. And now the seemingly innocent share has gone viral. Plus the page has grown enough followers to be sold off to a group of people with rather less innocent motives. Well guess what? You are their number one fan.

I hate bursting your bubble but you really have been suckered this time.

And as for Andrea Wilson sending you a potentially dangerous friend request. Well guess what? That’s not true either. She’s no hacker. I know her. She’s straight as a die.

Buyer beware

That said, there are some seriously sick people out there. Sick as in not very nice. Rather than cool sick. Cool and sick are two words that really don’t belong together. I know, I have vomited and it’s so not cool. But those sick kids, they prey on us all. They prey on our greed, our emotion, our desire to be loved. I mean, imagine if you, my friend, won that free basket of Cadbury chocolate because I shared that Facebook post with you. You would love me for life wouldn’t you? Or at least until the chocolate was gone. Would you share it with me?

And they know we get scared. Like, really scared. By the secret people watching us from inside out devices. So they reach out and help us stay safe with a link to protect our account. And then they are in!

Whatever motivates us to pass the chain along, or click that e-mail link, they know just how to press our buttons. Thank heavens for Hoax-slayer I say. It checks them all out . Boy they must be a super busy bunch. I mostly wear my scam spotting specs, but if you are in doubt, remember to check it out.

Marie also writes for Medium as @marietsmith

Any links which take you to my Medium stories, from this blog, are entirely free reads – so fill your boots. Clap too if you feel the urge, because even unpaid reaction helps a story gain traction.

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