Soon after Facebook introduced its new "Like" button several months ago, users were clamoring for an accompanying button that allowed them to "Dislike" something. While the social networking giant hasn't yet responded to those demands, scam artists have.
According to a new warning issued by the Better Business Bureau, this new "Dislike" button scam is the first of its particular kind to hit the social network. Its predecessors typically encouraged users to "Like" something that promised to show them a funny video or shocking fact if they did so.
The warning said that though this scam often purports to be the "official Dislike button," no such feature actually exists at this point. The BBB said messages sent by the perpetrators of this scam have been discovered with subject lines such as, "I just got the Dislike button, so now I can dislike all of your dumb posts!!!" or "Get the official DISLIKE button now."
If they were to click on these links, consumers can potentially open themselves up to several different types of malware and spyware, the BBB said. These programs would be specifically designed to attack their computer and search it thoroughly for not only login details for Facebook and other sites - which it would use to send out more messages that could spread its reach even farther - but also vital information pertaining to personal and financial identity.
With this in mind, the BBB is urging parents to teach their children about the dangers of online scams and identity theft, given that millions of Facebook users are young people and may not be able to spot a scam as easily as an adult would. Further, consumers should avoid clicking on any link they are suspicious of, even it comes from one of their friends.
However, the best policy is to never give out personal information online unless a consumer can be 100 percent certain that the recipient is a secure and encrypted site, and they know what that information would be used for. Consumers can often be reassured of a site's security if its address starts with "https" rather than simply "http."
Because Facebook has over 500 million users at this point, it is often a popular target for scammers looking to affect a large number of people at once.