Liking posts on Facebook has become a reflex for many people, who may see it as a quick, simple and non-committal way of registering that they’ve seen a post from a friend or page, but Facebook users who click 'like' on posts and pages may be helping scammers to hoodwink people online.
Seemingly harmless, liking posts on Facebook can actually be extremely dangerous and can enable online scammers to steal people’s information, spread viruses or give out false information by ‘like-farming’ on Facebook.
Scammers will post a story on Facebook that contains nothing malicious, but is likely to be popular and attract likes and shares from people online.
The more likes and shares something has, the higher up it will appear on news feeds.
Once the post has attracted many likes and shares, scammers will edit it in order to add malicious content. For instance, they may promote products to buy or introduce a paywall on the page in order to steal credit card information.
The same trick can be used with pages as well as posts: a page may attract likes by being filled with cat videos, but once enough people have liked the page scammers can start posting malicious content which will appear on their news feed.
Users who are concerned that they may have liked a dangerous post can review their likes by going on their own profile and clicking on the Activity Log in the top right corner.
Facebook has been reached for comment.