RENO, NV - If you've used Facebook for any length of time, odds are you've seen pictures of injured or sick children, abused animals, or viral political or religious photos circulating around the social media site.
Often times the photos are followed with captions such as, 'Like' to help spread cancer awareness, or 'Share' to stop animal abuse.
While it can be tempting to follow those instructions, the watchdog site, Facecrooks.com is warning Facebook users that scammers may be behind those viral posts.
Not only do the photos exploit sick children for false purposes, clicking 'Like' can set you up to have your personal information stolen.
Often times the photos are attached to Facebook pages, and once enough likes and shares are generated, the page will be stripped and turned into a promotional page for a product or the scammers behind the page will sell it to someone who will do the same thing.
If the scammers have access to Facebook developer tools, they can then find access to credit card numbers attached to games, or personal information.
Facebook will never donate money to causes based on the number of 'Likes' and 'Shares' a photo has. If you are suspicious of a photo, do not click 'Like', and report it to Facebook. 'Sharing' or commenting on the photo helps keep the hoax going, and makes it more difficult for Facebook to remove it.
It is still okay to "Like' and 'Share' photos and posts from legitimate Facebook pages like news organizations and non-profits. Facecrooks.com is a website that monitors scams and other unethical behavior on Facebook.