Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways that people make money advertising online. They simply set up a cheap web hosting account, launch a few pages with affiliate ads and wait for users to click on them, for which they receive a commission. A recent scam has brought together this method of moneymaking with a Web 2.0 scam that is designed to put money in the pockets of the scammers by exploiting the fans of the popular Twilight series of books and movies.
EntertainmentWise.com reports that this scam relies on tricking people into thinking that they’re clicking something they don’t want. The bait is a game that claims to be tied to the Twilight franchise. The users click on the game’s play button but, when they do, the site actually announces that they “like” the post on their wall. Of course, this is exactly what legitimate Facebook marketers hope to achieve: instant recognition of their site across a user’s entire social network.
The scam goes a bit farther. Users of Facebook will be familiar with the fact that numerous apps ask them for permissions to access information from their profile. This is usually fairly innocuous and the only real concern is whether or not that the access is compatible with the user’s goals where maintaining their privacy is concerned. This app takes it one step further, however, according to the report.
The affiliate commission is based on getting users to fill out an online survey. This survey appears when they approve the request. Filling out the survey nets the affiliate commission for the scammers.
Any application can be removed from Facebook from the privacy settings panel. A list of applications is given by the panel and, to remove the, you simply click on the “X”. This prevents them from being able to access your profile any further. Even if you haven’t been the victim of a scam, privacy experts recommend taking this step every so often to make sure that there isn’t anything specious on your profile posting links.
The second step is to remove all of the posts made by the application. This, again, is easy. You simply click on the “X” by one of the offending posts and elect to remove all posts by that app. After that last step has been taken, the links that benefit the affiliate marketers will have been removed from your profile and you’ll have no more problems form the application.
Privacy and Facebook
There have been numerous problems with Facebook and privacy, with many users being unhappy with the amount of information that the site shares with other users. There are a few tips you can follow to avoid becoming the victim of this scam, or others like it.
- Make sure your wall is visible to “Friends Only”
- Make sure you don’t share your profile information with unknown users
- As a general rule, avoid installing any third-party apps that ask for permissions to access your account information.
Software add-ons for browsers, such as the NoScript add-on for Firefox, provide additional protection against these types of scams.