Circulating message warns that you should not enter “amen” under Facebook posts about children, animals, or old people because doing so allows “foreign men” to hack your Facebook account.
The hacking claim in the supposed warning is utter nonsense. Hackers cannot hijack your account just because you enter “amen” as a comment. However, you still should NOT type “amen” in posts like those described in the warning because they are scams designed to fraudulently gather large numbers of likes. (See Detailed Analysis below for more information).
My Friends on Facebook. I have been noticing this for quite sometime now but now it’s been confirmed… Please if you see any photos of Children or Animals or old people asking you to Put Amen ….Please don’t … If you notice, as I have, that these posts are all from foreign men who are hacking your Facebook if you comment Amen. I’m so grateful to the person who I found out this from… please beware of these scams… Google it and you will find out more if you need too…..
According to a would-be warning message that is currently circulating rapidly via social media, you should not enter ‘amen’ under Facebook posts about children, animals, or old people because the posts are from hackers. The message warns that typing ‘amen’ will allow ‘foreign men’ to hack your Facebook account. Supposedly, all such hacker ‘amen’ posts are distributed by these ‘foreign men’.
In fact, you should NOT type ‘amen’ in posts like those described in the warning. But not for the reasons outlined in the message. Such posts are not from hackers that can somehow magically hijack your account just because you comment. Instead, posts claiming that you can help a pictured child or animal by liking, sharing, and commenting ‘amen’ are like-farming scams. The images used in these scam posts are stolen from other websites and used without permission. Typing ‘amen’ and sharing the posts will do nothing whatsoever to help the pictured child or animal.
Sometimes, the posts are used as an underhand method of promoting bands, actors, businesses, or other entities. And, a Facebook page that distributes one of these fake ‘amen’ posts can gather a great many new likes in a short time. The Page can then be used to post further scam messages, this time to a much larger audience. Alternatively, the page can be sold to other scammers via the black market.
But, while entering ‘amen’ on these scam posts certainly plays into the hands of like-farmers and should be avoided, the act will NOT allow even the cleverest hacker to take over your Facebook account. Moreover, having seen hundreds of such posts in recent years, I can assure you that they are not all posted by ‘foreign men’. Such scams are perpetrated by both men and women from all over the world. And, of course, whether or not a person can be considered ‘foreign’ depends entirely on where you happen to live.
To have any value, security warnings must contain accurate information. This message makes false claims about hackers and has racist undertones. Sharing it will just perpetrate misinformation and help nobody.
Last updated: September 30, 2016
First published: November 24, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen