This story was first published on March 18, 2014
A post currently circulating on Facebook promises users the chance to win a BMW just for liking, sharing, and commenting.
The message claims that to go in the draw to win one of two cars to be given away on October 16, 2017, all users need do is like and share a promotional image, add the comment “win”, and like the Facebook Page from which the message originates. The message features a blue BMW gift-wrapped with a large red bow.
However, the Facebook Page and all of the messages that it spawns are part of a typical like-farming scam. The Page is bogus and has no association whatsoever with BMW. And the claim that it is giving away BMW cars is a lie. There are no prizes.
As the name suggests, the goal of like-farmers is to harvest as many Page likes as possible from unsuspecting participants. They achieve this by tricking people into spamming the bogus giveaway posts to all of their friends via shares and comments and liking the scam Page. Once a Page has accumulated a large number of likes, it can be used to perpetrate survey, rogue app, and advance fee scams to its now sizable audience.
Alternatively, the scammers who own the Page may decide to sell the Page to other scammers or unscrupulous Internet marketers who will repurpose it to fit their own requirements.
Like-farming is a common scammer ploy on Facebook. Be wary of any Facebook post or Page that claims that users can win an expensive prize just for liking, sharing or commenting.
If one of these scam messages comes your way, do not click the link it contains. Please do not participate “just in case” the claims are true as this only benefits the scammers and exposes all of your friends to the fraudulent activity as well.
An example of the scam:
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!