If you 'like' these posts, prepare to be spammed

If you 'like' these posts, prepare to be spammed

PORTLAND, Ore. – You could win a free iPad, jewelry and fancy headphones declare the raffles that have popped up on Facebook in the past few days.

The Facebook posting says 1,000 lucky users will get free products from major companies. If only it were real.

Facebook gave the word "like" a whole new meaning and people have now found out how to make big money behind that little button.

Why do they want you to "Like" them?

"They want your contact," said Benjamin Diggles, a digital marketing guru at Webtrends in Portland. "Again, once you 'like' something, they have access to send messages that show up on your wall (and) in your feed. Now, you are an impressionable consumer."

Clicking "Like" is the modern version of handing out your home address to every traveling salesman in town. Problem is, impressionable consumers don't usually "like" pages promoting questionable medical products, cheap vacuum cleaners or pyramid schemes.

Let's say they want 60,000 "likes." But getting that many is hard to do, so they pretend they're like a company like Apple. They design a Facebook page that looks real, concoct some sort of giveaway and say all it takes is a "Like."

One you "like" it, it shows up in your news feed, all your friends see it and maybe 1 percent of them will "like" it too.

That cycle will continue on and on and on. But that'll be enough, they think, to get to 60,000 people.

Then those 60,000 people can be sold like the smoothest snake oil. This is when captive Facebook users get tricked a second time.

It "goes from Apple to XYZ Co.," said Diggles. "They change the page to selling you" something a lot less desirable like weight loss pills.

Once you click "Like," they’ve got you. That page is going to show up in your Facebook newsfeed no matter if the name changes.

Facebook is good about shutting down the pages when it finds out about them, but the cycle moves quickly.

But Diggles said if it didn't work sometimes, nobody would be doing it.