Scammers are using fake Facebook “dislike” buttons in an attempt to trick unwitting users into handing over money, having malicious code downloaded to their computers, and liking pages, Digiday reports.
Several security blogs claim there has been an influx of ads promoting early access to a Facebook dislike button since CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the company is responding to requests for a “dislike” option by allowing users to express empathy in an easy way, similar to the like button.
Many people took that to mean that Facebook will be adding a dislike button, despite Zuckerberg saying that such an option wouldn’t be advisable because it could encourage a Reddit-style system of upvoting and downvoting.
Nevertheless, scammers have leaped on the opportunity to use anticipation about the button to exploit users eagerly awaiting its introduction. One such scam uses the wording “Get newly introduced facebook dislike button on your profile [sic],” adding that “Dislike Button is invite only feature [sic].”
The scam tricks the user into liking a page and sharing the link with their friends. Some of the scams are also directing users towards expensive premium rate mobile phone subscriptions, online surveys that generate the scammers income every time a user fills them out, or even downloading malicious software to their computers, security analyst Graham Cluley reports on his blog.
Hackread writes that it hasn’t been confirmed that anyone has been infected with malware through the dislike button scam yet, but advises that users “stay away from these malicious links because they won’t be providing you with access to the dislike button.”
The Sophos Naked Security blog advises: “The important thing about a Facebook-provided Dislike button, of course, is that you wouldn’t need to go to some random-looking third-party site to download it. So, Dislike button scams ought to be obviously bogus these days. After all, Facebook itself just reminded us that it doesn’t have Dislike yet, but that if it gets one, it will be an official part of Facebook itself.”
Business Insider has contacted Facebook for comment, and we’ll update this post once we hear back.