Me: Share this article anywhere online and I will give 3 random readers $75.00 each!
You: Cool! This is excellent! You’re so generous!
Me: I know, right?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for your $75… it’s not going to happen.
Ok, so you’re on Facebook, minding your own business, when you see a picture of a smiling man holding what appears to be a winning Powerball lottery ticket. The caption below the shared image reads, ‘Looks like I won’t be going to work EVER!!!! Share this photo and I will give a random person 1 million dollars!’. What’s really sad is you see that more than a few of your friends have already shared this pic, with the hope of being that random person. Here is one of the many news websites that covered this story: Powerball Winner Scam.
These are some of the other silly things you’ll see that have been shared or posted on Facebook which otherwise intelligent people seem to fall for:
• For every ‘Like’ this sick baby gets, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg will donate $1.
• Bill Gates offering to give $5,000 to a random sharer of a picture of him. There are several different versions of this one. The fake sign he’s holding even says, ‘I always deliver, I mean, I brought you Windows XP, right?‘ and people STILL fall for it.
• Share this post if you miss someone who has died and gone to Heaven. (What? Which one of us does this not apply to?)
These examples only scratch the surface as to the unbelievable things that you’ll see posted and shared not only on Facebook, but other places online as well. Most, if not all of these hoaxes seem to be created by people who will never get enough to satisfy their insatiable attention-grabbing appetites. The best thing to do is to just ignore them and go about your business. If you're still unsure, you can get a wealth of information to dispel these myths at Snopes.com.
‘If something online is too good to be true, then it’s probably bad.’ This is an online mantra that many people should use more often. Repeat it anytime you see something online that sets off that little mechanism inside of your head which warns you when something just doesn’t seem right.
Be smart, and always surf safely!