If you’re on the internet (and you must be to be reading this), you’re probably also on Facebook. And if you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a post like this:
“Facebook is donating $3 for every share and a dollar for every like in order to save this infant burn victim.”
And, looking at that photo, what kind of terrible, selfish human being would you have to be to not click “Like”?
The answer: A smart one.
Posts like these are called “baby charity scams”. There are at least a dozen known baby charity scams circulating on Facebook. Here’s how they work:
Some enterprising con-man steals a photo of a terribly sick or disfigured infant and creates a charity post on his Facebook page. The post grows to thousands of “Likes” or “Shares” within just a few days, driving massive amounts of traffic to the con-man’s otherwise useless fan pages and producing huge numbers of subscriptions for their (usually) fake profile pages. And if you are gullible enough to comment on these photos, you’ve inadvertently invited these con-men to view your information.
Meanwhile, in exchange for this dubious benefit, these men are circulating photos of terminally ill infants without the consent of the baby’s parents, causing untold grief to friends and relatives.
So, if you think you know that Facebook is a tool for social good and that a simple click of the mouse will save a child’s life, think again. Nothing is really that easy.