A new charity scam spreading on Facebook claims parents can’t afford surgery for their sick baby, according to Hoax Slayer. Once again, scammers â€œtradeâ€ likes, comments and shares for $1 to $100. After gaining user engagement and compassion, they can redirect likes towards fraudulent or malicious profiles and pages.
The hoax features an image of a baby with a large surgery scar lying in a hospital bed. The scam claims that Facebook and the CNN will donate money to cover parentsâ€™ medical expenses. Users are tricked into believing their like, share or comment will be converted in donation money.
1 like – $1
1 comment – 10$
1 share – 100$.â€
According to Hoax Slayer, the heart-wrenching picture is actually stolen from a 2012 blog post that discussed the baby’s surgery.
Users are advised to report hoaxes to Facebook and use a free application tool such as Bitdefender Safego that will protect them from the latest online threats, scams, spam, malware and private data exposure on the social network.
Charity Scams have been circulating on Facebook for a couple of years. While charity fraud is as old as charity itself, it has now gone online seeking an audience of billions of people.
1. Before sending a contribution online, search the domainâ€™s WhoIS information and see if the contact address or other details raise any suspicions.
2. Stay away from Nigerian scams that take advantage of the gravity of illnesses such as cancer and claim they will distribute funds to charity.
3. Beware of religious references in e-mails and on social networks. Most organizations would not send you â€œGreetings in the name of God,â€ nor will it end an e-mail with â€œMay God Almighty bless you.â€
4. Avoid clicking links or attachments you get by e-mails reading â€œDONATION CONFIRMED.â€
5. Be careful with charity websites you never heard of, especially before the holidays (be it Easter or Christmas) â€“ they may be loaded with Trojans, worms and viruses.
6. Get a reputable antivirus solution and keep it updated to fully protect yourself.
To find out more about e-threats and scams, join the Bitdefender Facebook page, where over 380,000 users connect to share security tips and stories.