A quick reminder of how like-farming scams work on Facebook with the aid of a case study.
If you’ve heard of the term like-farming but don’t really know what the term means, then take a look at the Facebook Page for the “musician” Jordan Embry.
We discuss like-farming in more detail here including how it works and why it’s dangerous. With that said, during April 2015 we received reports that a man named Jordan Embry was offering $50,000 cold hard cash for those that shared a Facebook post, as well as to those who liked his Facebook Page.
However, as the old adage goes “if it is seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Something especially true on social media, it seems.
A closer look at the Page – simply titled Jordan Embry – revealed a comprehensive and very popular like-farming Page.
So what is Like-farming?
Like-farming refers to the methods employed by spammers to accumulate Likes for a particular Facebook Page through any combination of exploitation, deception and manipulation.
Okay, what does that mean?
Ever seen a post that says “click share if you hate cancer” or “like this post if you’re against dog fighting”? That’s like farming through manipulation.
What about a post that says “share this post and like our page and win an iPhone”? That’s like-farming through deception.
Or how about a post that says “each share of this post and this sick child will get a $1 donation for life saving medicine”? That’s exploitation.
Of course there are other examples too, and these click-baity posts go viral across the Facebook stratosphere. And as they do, the Facebook Page posting them inevitably accumulate Likes. Often many hundreds of thousands of Likes. That is certainly the case with Jordan Embry, who has nearly 400 thousand Likes as we write this article. His Page is jam packed with the posts we mention above – in fact they’re published every few hours of each day.
But why? What are all these Facebook followers worth? A scam isn’t a scam without an end game after all. So why like-farm?
A Facebook Page with many thousands of followers is a valuable property. It can take legitimate pages years to accumulate this much popularity. Having so many followers gives you a large reach into the Facebook community. It’s a digital platform where if you shout, people will hear.
So like-farming Pages are worth money and as a result are often sold to other marketing companies. This equates to financial motive to accumulate followers through deception. But other even more sinister motives lurk – such Pages can be used as a launching pad for any number of scams, including phishing attacks, identity theft, survey spam and malware installations. Many Facebook Pages were used to help lead users to malicious webpages harbouring the popular 2013 Cryptolocker malware strain.
As for the musician Jordan Embry, he many not even exist. He’s merely a name and a face. In fact, not even a face, since a reverse image search of his photos reveals either a footballer called Karim Benzema or a stock photo that’s been floating across the Internet for years.
His Facebook Page is bustling with either posts that ask you to share them, or tricking you into sharing them using false promises or claims.
Jordan Embry certainly isn’t a ‘name to know’ inside the music industry. He’s a digital phantom. A means to an end. A tool used for the purposes of like-farming, and whoever is behind the Jordan Embry Facebook Page has only one goal in mind – to lure as many Facebook users to the Page as possible.
So, do you still think sharing a post of his will win you a cool $50,000?
No, we didn’t think so.