Scams and spam from Facebook?

29 Dec

Quite some time ago, I got a rather threatening email informing me that I needed to cease and desist and telling me to take down a blog post regarding an email I had received from someone claiming to be “Viral Networking” on Facebook.  I don’t recall the name, but low and behold, today in an email account that is not even associated with my Facebook account…I received another one of these peculiar invitations for Viral Networking via Facebook from someone claiming to be “Natalie Reed.”  Now Ms. Reed may be  a very real person with a very real Facebook account.  I don’t know, she’s not on my friends list, which is probably why she didn’t send the message to the account associated with Facebook to begin with.

I’m not a social media professional.  I actually have a real life.  Yes, I do use social media, like a vast percentage of Americans do.  I also resisted adding it to my life for well over a year after GM approached me about using it, like a large percentage of post-40 Americans.  But anything label viral makes me think more about the case of the flu that I’m nursing at the moment than anything positive.

In addition, Facebook invitations that don’t come through my Facebook account are equally suspect.  If it is legitimate, why didn’t it follow normal invitation routes?  Why didn’t the invitation come from one of the 700+ friends currently on my friend list?  For that matter, why would someone who is NOT on my friend list feel a need to invite me to a group without first requesting to be added to my friend list?

So what did I do about it?  I added the phrase “Viral Networking” to my list of rules to automatically send it to the trash.  It’s raised too many red flags, and with the problems that Facebook has had with less-than-honest apps and groups…why take the risk for something screwy?

Obviously, I’m not a social media professional.  I despise the idea that there ARE social media professionals.  I mean seriously, how do you monetize hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. all day doing nothing but posting total BS and linking to more people than you can possibly even carry on a conversation with in the coming year?  When do you have time to have a life to even worry about monetizing, besides paying for your computer, internet, & office space?  Do they hire an entire staff to spend their work day posting this drivel?  Some of these people apparently spend their lives hopping from city to city, just to have their photo taken with person x so they can post it to their account like some modern day digital version of “Kilroy was here.”

I like people who do something, make something, have a goal, and have something to say besides “Look at me, I’m IMPORTANT, see how many friends I have!”  I’d rather see updates about a silly online game they are playing rather than “Social Media Queen is now friends with LostInSpace and 27 other people,” which of course must be topped by Social Media King who becomes friends with LostInSpace too, along with 32 other people.  It’s ridiculous, and reminds me more of a numbers game played by teens than an adult forum where people share ideas, common goals, etc.

Desperation abounds as the number game plays out, and its no wonder that scams get to make their rounds via social media networks.  I completely understand why so many people bow out of the social networks after a few months or a year.  It gets ridiculous.

So hang in there, and don’t let the “viral networkers” get you when you aren’t watching.  Lord only knows what kind of viral infection they may have!

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