Facebook and Hackers: I Dislike This Dislike Scam

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Most Facebook users are familiar with the “like” button. It was first introduced to Facebook in February of 2009 and from the start was met with huge success. It is a great way for users to show that they support anything from a bagel shop to their friend buying a new car. Inevitably though, with the invention of the “like” came the burning desire of users to be able to dislike something. Thus the mythical “dislike” button was born. There were many questions and rumors surrounding whether or not Facebook would allow users to express their discontent for their friends’ relationship status change from “in a relationship” to “single,” to express discontent with a post, or disagree with a friend’s choice of sports team affiliation.

Eventually, scammers caught on to this interest in a dislike button and began using the promise of the “dislike” button to facilitate their scamming. Recently, the “dislike button scam” has been taken to the next level by scammers with the creation of what seems to be an application promising access to the new dislike button feature. In reality, this link is a way for hackers and scammers to spread malware via Javascript code. What does this mean? It means that users will see a post by a “friend” about how they downloaded the new dislike button and how other users can as well. This isn’t actually a post from the user, but spam from a scammer who has hacked the account. The hope of scammers is that more users will be influenced to click on the post.  These users are then prompted to copy and paste a link into their URL address bar (the box at the top of the page where you type the web address). Just like that users have then invited hackers right into their devices to do whatever they please. They may collect personal information, install a keylogger to see everything a user types, or do any number of other nasty things.

While using the Internet, one should always be careful about clicking any link. And while the Facebook security team has done a good job of cutting down on many of the scams out there, there is no way for them to completely eliminate risk to users. So it is important for facebookers to be aware and conscious of current risks. It is also a sure bet that if users click on anything regarding a “dislike” button, they will be in for a nasty surprise.

Similar to the “who’s viewing your profile” scams common a year or two ago, the dislike scammers are preying on the known desires of Facebook users. If you are unsure about whether a certain Facebook function is legitimate or not, feel free to contact the Facebook team. They they should be able to answer any questions you may have. And just to be sure, you should NEVER visit a URL to a site that you do not trust or are not familiar with.

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Nikki Junker

Nikki Junker is Social Media Coordinator and Victim Advisor at The Identity Theft Resource Center. She specializes in Identity Theft on social networks and smartphones. She enjoys working one on one with victims of identity theft as well as researching and writing about preventative measures for consumers.