WELCOME TO FRAUDVILLE: Are you being scammed on Facebook?


Photo from Facebook's recent Halloween party,
Note the sign that says, "Welcome to Fraudville" mocking the fraud
in which many of Facebook's 300 million members fall prey

Infoworld explained how cyberthieves using social media to scam people. It seems the scammers are "legitimate" companies that run deceptive ads on these networks.  TechCrunch also explains how advertisers are using social games to trick Facebook and MySpace users into giving out personal info. or signing up for recurring subscriptions.

As Infoworld explains,
...it starts with stupid-yet-addictive quizzes and games like FarmVille, Mafia Family Wars, and Mobsters. The games themselves are free, but if you want to advance faster than your friends, you'll probably have to buy virtual objects using real money.
BusinessWeek:
Zynga doesn't charge users to play FarmVille, but it does sell digital crops, cattle, and farmland. Corn seed, for instance, goes for the equivalent of 10 cents; cows run 20 cents each. All those digital goods add up. Zynga pulls in its nine-figure annual revenues from FarmVille and 20 other games....One recent success: digital sweet potato seeds that cost $5 a packet. The seeds, which of course cost nothing to duplicate, pulled in more than $400,000 in three days.
Infoworld continues:
Don't have $5 to spend on a bag of imaginary seeds? You can get $450 in Farm Cash by clicking an ad and signing up to receive a "free learning CD" from Video Professor. Of course, the "free" offer comes with caveats; if you don't cancel in time, you'll pony up $190 for an entire learning series.
 TechCrunch describes a typical scam:
Users are offered in game currency in exchange for filling out an IQ survey. Four simple questions are asked. The answers are irrelevant. When the user gets to the last question they are told their results will be text messaged to them. They are asked to enter in their mobile phone number, and are texted a pin code to enter on the quiz. Once they’ve done that, they’ve just subscribed to a $9.99/month subscription.
Of course, none of this is complete without Facebook's own complacency and mockery of the scams.  This is indicative of Facebook's continued negligence in protecting their 300 million members from them these scams as well as many other problems on their platform.  Is "Fraudville" a mockery of Farmville?  Or is it really just Facebook headquarters....(since Facebook earns quite a pretty penny from this fraud as well.)  Don't ask Facebook- they're having too much fun profiting off of you and blowing off your concerns.

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