Fake news is a big deal on Facebook at the moment.
While many fake news outlets profit from your clicks, there’s a nastier version of fake news that been gaining popularity recently – and that is fake petitions.
Petitions can be a great way of raising the profile of an important cause and many are shared on social media to help make a difference.
While many petitions don’t go onto make a change, millions sign them in the hope of getting people talking about the issue. And that’s where the scammers have spotted yet another con.
Yep, the fake news scammers are now not just after stealing your clicks but also stealing your personal data, according to author Adam Levin.
This email harvesting means that your email address and personal details could be sold on to other spammers and scammers for phishing scams and god knows what else.
Not to mention the scam petitions diverting attention away from real causes.
Here are the main known scam petition sites doing the rounds (we’ve chosen not to hyperlink for obvious reasons). If you have one to add, write in the comments section below.
Scam websites still doing the rounds on Facebook
Source: These sites are well documented as being scam sites with petitions calling on Mark Zuckerberg to remove them from Facebook.
Old scam sites to watch out for just in case
6) saynotodogmeat.net – This is a scam version of legitimate website http://www.saynotodogmeat.com
These appear to have been taken down but worth keeping an eye out in case they come back in a similar form
How to spot a fraudulent petition site
There are some websites actively checking for fraudulent websites. These include a list at Stop Animal Abuse.
Other ways to check whether a site might be fraudulent include:
- Do a Google search and cross reference
- Only use sites you are familiar with
- Look up past petitions and see if there were any results.