Facebook Hit by Scams, Hoax and Network Outages - NECN

Facebook Hit by Scams, Hoax and Network Outages



    Facebook Hit by Scams, Hoax and Network Outages
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    Facebook is enduring hoaxes that are targeting its users.

    It's been a rough start to the week for Facebook with two scams, a hoax and network outages hitting the social network. 

    At least one of the scams is tied to Facebook's upcoming "empathy button." Two weeks ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the development of what some have called a "dislike" button. 

    "People aren't looking for an ability to down vote other people's posts," he said during a question-and-answer meeting on Sept. 15 at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. "What they really want is to be able to express empathy."

    But news of the button has spurred an opportunity for scammers to prey on Facebook users for their personal data.

    According to Snopes.com a website that has built a reputation for debunking or validating stories of unknown or uncertain origin, a scam was circulated by those inviting users to have "early" access to the button.

    In order for them to be "eligible," users had to share the post and click onto a survey. But that link leads to the installation of malware on the user's computer.

    Another scam that has surfaced claims that users' privacy is vulnerable. According to PC Magazine, the scam states that Facebook has announced a £5.99 subscription for users to keep the status of their posts on "private." But the scam promises the service would be free if you spread the word.

    A familiar hoax has also resurfaced. This one claims to have been reported by "Channel 13 news." The hoax claims the social media giant is making changes to its privacy policies. In response, Facebook users are told to post an elaborate statement on their wall stating that they do not grant Facebook the rights to their posts, pictures and media.

    It is at least the third time this particular hoax has gone viral. A similar post moved through Facebook last January, in 2012 and back in 2009, according to Snopes.com. 

    "While there may be water on Mars, don't believe everything you read on the internet today," Facebook said in an official response. "Facebook is free and it always will be. And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there Earthlings!"

    Meanwhile, the social network has gone down twice this week, on Sept. 24 and 28.

    Out of frustration, Internet users migrated to Twitter and prompted the hashtag #facebookdown. Many users posted a screengrab photo of the Facebook website that said, "Sorry, something went wrong."

    The service was not operational for about 45 minutes NBCnews.com reported.