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Facebook Removes Fake Child-Cancer Posts Online

By Justin Lee , Feb 22, 2017 05:52 AM EST
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Facebook has recently removed the user accounts of the scammers who stole photos of a child and posted it with misleading captions. The viral post shared pictures of a baby whose skin was invaded by spots. It was then implied that the little kid has cancer and needed surgery.

Child-Cancer Post Is A Hoax

As per Telegraph UK, the child actually has chickenpox and the cancer story is apparently not true. The post says that the baby needs surgery and Facebook has decided that in every like that the post gets, two dollars will be given to the child. Additionally, each comment will be equal to four dollars and each share will be equal to eight dollars.

Child-Cancer Post, The Real Story

The child in the fake story is Sarah Allen's three-year-old kid. Allen said that they were actually warned that people might steal their photos, because apparently, Googling the keyword "chickenpox" results to her uploaded images. As per BBC, the mother said that they were well aware that this [illegal sharing] might happen, but not to the extent that the posters will claim that the kid has cancer.

Allen said that Facebook deleted the post after she filed a complained. However, she says that the account has reappeared a day later. Fortunately now, the photos are removed from the platform and the flagged accounts were also disabled. Facebook has the tools to allow people to report infringement issues but the company doesn't comment on individual cases.

Security Risks Of Interacting With Fake Posts

As per a security blogger, Allen's situation could be a case of link farming wherein scammers aim to make people react to Facebook posts so they can then direct further messages to the unknown people. Additionally, this also isn't a rare case. There are actually lots of scams that targets people's emotions via stolen photos. It's how cyber criminals make money.

If scammers know that you're gullible enough to believe their made-up story, they can see you as an easy target for other scam forms. This goes without saying that people should always be aware of what they read and share on the web. Whatever you see online, do a quick assessment and a quick research to find out if the content is legit and share-worthy.

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