Online scams have been around ever since people started using the Internet. After numerous advisories, alerts, and awareness-raising campaigns, you’d think that most people would have learned not to trust everything they see on the Web. However, many individuals still fall for scams, often handing over small fortunes to the fraudsters.
Initiatives that involve workshops and spreading flyers are probably more efficient. However, they only reach a limited number of people. Online campaigns are still the most effective if you want to reach a wider audience.
However, a certain percentage of the targeted audience doesn’t really take the time to read online advisories. On the contrary, some online advisories appear to be totally misunderstood.
Let’s take a few examples. In 2011, a Facebook scam promised users a video of the rapper Soulja Boy beating up his girlfriend. The short advisory, which clearly mentioned that it was just a scam designed to trick users into filling out surveys, was read by over 85,000 Internet users.
Many of them read it not because they wanted to learn about the scam, but because they thought Soulja Boy had actually beat up his girl.
Let’s take a look at some of the comments posted at the time:
“Soulja boy is complete garbage. Who are the ignorant people that keep this Guy afloat. Complete abomination of rap. Tupac would be furious about the current state of hip-hop/rap.”