June 9, 2011

Spotted on Facebook: Spam or Scam ?

I came across this photo on Facebook which was shared by a friend on his wall (and eventually on mine).   The photo was an ad that read "Part Time using Facebook."  Additional text below that read "For more details, add me as a friend on Facebook" followed by what is supposed to be the catchy offer "Earn P2,500. a week 2-3hrs a day only."

Looking further into this revealed several things:
  • First thing worth noticing that the currency was in pesos, hinting that it's targeting a local audience.  
  • You had to add the person before he'd give you details.   Adding a person on Facebook is free but risky especially if you don't know the person nor have any mutual friends.
  • If you check the album where this photo was shared from, you'll find 47 more photos exactly the same and each photo has at least 20 people tagged so it would appear on their walls.
  • The user only has 155 friends on his profile
  • His basic information under "About me" states: "simple lang hahaha"
  • There are no other details about how to earn on that page.
  • The account seems like it's barely 1 month old.  (oldest post was on May 11)
Another photo album entitled "POTENTIAL INCOME P10k/month 2hours/day Pls read details carefully" shows multiple photos of 2 people in business suits supposedly looking professional.  In this album though, there are details and mechanics for earning.   The caption though repeatedly reminds readers that they will not entertain online inquiries and to contact only via text.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt that this is some purely legal and honorable way of earning additional income,  the way they've used Facebook as their medium in promoting their service has "scam" written all over it.  

Facebook is a free platform to use.  The least any organization or service can do is to look professional and provide assistance.  

A few simple self-explanatory tips could go a long way:
  • Don't spam (messages, photos and video).
  • Don't tag people just to gain a spot on their wall.
  • Do provide comprehensive information.
  • Do fill out your info page honestly and professionally.
  • Do add and build content to prove your page is not a fly by night page.

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