Social media has its pros, like keeping up with friends and family, special events and even some news. But it also has its cons. There are several hoaxes popping up on Facebook now. It seems like we see an increase in hoaxes every holiday season.
Scammers try to take advantage of people who are in the giving mood, and every year, people fall victim.
And another is feeding into the political climate of the U.S. and Facebook’s inability to control paid advertisements that show up in your feeds.
Here’s what to look for:
1. Ads that look too shocking to believe
ProPublica reports that Facebook has sold ads to cybercriminals to infect your computer with malware. They are political in nature, usually targeting certain people who have a particular view on politics.
Facebook allows advertisers to pick and choose who sees the ads. So a scammer can send an ad to someone they have identified as “liberal” with the title mentioning something about President Trump and approval ratings. The targeted person is more likely to click on it if it’s something they are passionate about.
When they do, their computer freezes along with a demand for a ransom to unlock the computer. Turns out, if the person just restarted their computer, all would have been fine. But a lot of people don’t know what to do and pay the ransom.