Scams offering the possibility of winning free tickets to Disney World are continuing to fool thousands of Facebook users, recent reports indicate.
After posting a warning about a fake page in late May, WSPA conducted research and found that over 200,000 users had liked active fake pages offering Disney tickets.
“I saw your post on Facebook yesterday saying that it wasn't real and I'm like, oh you're kidding me,” Tammy McKeown told WSPA.
“I shared it and I liked the page, what could it hurt,” she continued.
The reality is that by liking or sharing a page, the administrators of that page gain access to your personal information and contacts. This can be such a lucrative business for advertisers that pages with over 100,000 likes are changing hands for $1,000, according to WSPA’s research.
“The way it becomes dangerous is that once that page has established credibility with thousands and hundreds of thousands of likes, they can then change the content of that page to something malicious be it false advertising or links that could be malicious in intent,” explained Kevin Hodges, an IT professional at USC Upstate.
There are a number of things to look out for to identify the scam, Inquisitr reports.
These include checking the company name in case it has a period, hyphen or exclamation point inserted, finding out if the alleged contest has rules and regulations, and looking to see if the page has posted anything else.
Another tip is to check how recently the page was created, since if it was only in the last few days, it is probably a scam.
However, the Disney scam and other free gift tricks like it only make up a fraction of the deceptive approaches used to get access to your personal information on Facebook, according to a Borneo Post report.
The newspaper cited research from anti-virus firm Bitdefender showing that approximately 16 percent of Facebook scams are based on free giveaways.
By contrast, between 45 and 50 percent involve tricking people into checking who has viewed their profile, while around 28 percent concern functionality, such as fake features like dislike buttons.
One of the key takeaways from the research is that anyone can be at risk of falling for such scams, so it's important to be wary on social media.
“I like to think of myself as a little bit smarter than that but apparently I'm not, so that makes it kind of sad for me,” McKeown told WSPA.