As if determining the fakes from reality wasn’t already enough of a drag on social media.  If you notice your Facebook account has suddenly “liked” a product and you knew nothing about it, an enterprising (and dishonest) hacker might be the cause.

From The Telegraph:

The number of likes on Facebook has increased to 4.5 billion every day, and experts estimate the promotional value of a like to be over £100.

Some companies have reportedly been offering hundreds of likes at just over £10, with hackers going into people’s accounts and liking products – using the more than 1.15 billion users to make a profit.

An investigation by Channel 4 News uncovered the scam, using a fake Facebook account to buy a batch of likes and then approaching people who had ‘liked’ the page and knew nothing about it.

Last summer, Facebook started purging fake “likes” from its system, which affected primarily things like celebrity fan pages.  But hackers using unsuspecting users’ Facebook accounts to “like” products without their knowledge is another instance altogether.

Unless of course you don’t mind that sort of thing. I suppose it depends upon what you find yourself mysteriously “liking.”  That could get interesting.

On the bright side, I see job creation opportunities.  I mean, we do have apps to check for fake Facebook friends.

*****

Updated with Channel 4′s video investigation below.  I’ll add that it seems to me, while in some cases hacking is employed, other cases are more akin to hijacking “likes” (‘likejacking’) by tricking users into clicking malicious code that submits a “like.”

 
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