How to con people on Facebook: A step-by-step guide

Posted on June 10, 2015

 

Facebook, as we all know, is full of idiots. It’s seen as the ‘safe’ internet, where people who don’t really use the internet go to do whatever it is they think people on the internet do. As a result, these people are very naïve in the ways of the web, and are a soft touch for internet scammers.

I am not an internet scammer, though I will admit it has a certain appeal as it is rather like shooting fish in a barrel. I do, however, have a number of people on my Facebook who are, shall we say, asking for someone to take away their money. Barely a day passes when I don’t see them falling for hoaxes so, in an effort to educate everyone more than to encourage the practice, here’s how you scam someone on Facebook – and what to watch for so you don’t fall victim to such scams.

1: Set up a Facebook page for an aspirational product

An aspirational product is something people want to own. They desire it, but often they can’t afford it. This might include a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, for example. It might be an Audi R8, a Range Rover or an Aston Martin. You get the idea. The page doesn’t have to be very good and, in fact, it’s better if it contains some errors. For example, you might write ‘PlayStation’ as ‘Playstation’.

To truly fit in with the typical scammer profile, it is also important that you make many spelling and grammatical errors. These pages aren’t filled with mistakes by accident, this is deliberate. You see, the sort of people who would spot these mistakes wouldn’t fall for a scam anyway, whereas the sort of people too stupid to notice any errors are also stupid enough to believe the scam is real.

2. Write a post on the page, offering to give away the product

Once again, this post must be filled with spelling and grammatical errors. You don’t want to waste your time with intelligent people who may not fall for your scam, you want people too stupid to notice you’re conning them. Offer something ridiculous, like 15 PS4s because they’ve been unsealed in the warehouse, or a Range Rover because it’s the car’s birthday. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the idea.

The post must ask people to ‘like’ the page, and to share and comment on the post. You might ask people to comment on what colour car they’d like, or what country they’re in (for postage perhaps), but the commenting part is essential as this is what you’ll use later to harvest your idiots.

3. Reply to each comment, asking them to tag friends for an increased chance of winning

This is an optional step in the process, but can increase the payout from your scam tenfold. If someone has been stupid enough to believe your post and comment, the chances are they have some pretty stupid friends as well. Reply to their comment and ask them to tag 10 of their friends for a better chance of winning. You can, once again, be as ridiculous as you like here. I’ve even seen posts offer a 99% chance of winning if they tag 10 friends. This is actually really clever, because it sets expectations of the idiot that they may indeed win.

It’s good housekeeping, but by no means essential, to delete any comments calling this out as a scam. They will be few and far between, and they’re unlikely to put off any idiots, but it’s worth doing for the sake of ensuring maximum return.

4. Harvest your money

Now, the fun part! Going down the list of comments, click on each person’s profile and send them a message saying they’ve won, and they need to send you a nominal amount to cover postage. If they’ve got this far, they’re so stupid they’ll fall over themselves to send you $10, $20 or whatever you ask them to, as they’ll believe they’ll be getting something worth far more in exchange.

If you have 50,000 comments on the post, and every person sends you $10, that’s half a million dollars.

5. The upsell

You can even add a second tier to the scam, and send a follow up message to those who have sent you money. Why not request more money for a customs’ charge, or some other admin fee you’ve made up? If they’re thick enough to have sent you money, they’re certainly thick enough to do it again.

 

There you go – a step-by-step guide to conning people on Facebook. Remember this next time you share a post offering something for free.

 

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 20 years’ experience in these fields.
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