An old Facebook hoax reappeared lately in a slightly different form. The phony message claims that each time it’s shared, Facebook will pay three cents to help a baby with facial cancer fight the disease.
“This child's got a cancer. Facebook is ready to pay 3 cent for every share. We don't know is it true or not, but let's everybody share. Maybe it's true and then...” reads the hoax provided by Hoax Slayer.
In reality, the same photo of the baby has been circulating for around 7 years now and Facebook hasn’t paid any money and probably it never will.
While this scam may not be out of the ordinary, many similar ones being seen each day on social media websites, I want to take this opportunity to make a couple of clarifications.
At first glance, this might look like it’s nothing more than an innocent scam that spams the walls and inboxes of Internet users, but what happens if a cybercriminal organization starts relying on its success to spread a piece of malware that steals bank accounts?
Then it would become much more than another innocent spam that roams the Internet and that’s why it’s important to discourage these phony posts.
On the other hand, there are some campaigns, legitimate ones, in which Facebook is used to make donations, and that’s probably how these scams are born. However, there’s an easy way to tell a scam apart from a real charity campaign.
In the real charities, the money is never actually given by Facebook. For instance, many companies promise to donate a certain amount of money for each Like a certain page receives, but these actions are always advertised on large billboards and on the official website of the organization, not by spamming inboxes.
This being said, make sure to check out the legitimacy of a message before sharing it or forwarding it to your friends.
It may be harder to document something than reposting it, but think about the fact that each time you share or like a hoax, there is a chance that you're actually helping a cybercriminal organization in their schemes.