Besy Buy, iTunes, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods are among the names used to lure Facebook users into phony gift card offers designed to get information and Web traffic. The issue came to a head when a bogus Ikea page offer for $1000 gift cards suckered 70,000 fans in March before being terminated. A similar scam page launched in April hooked nearly 40,000 users.
It is a difficult issue for Facebook to tackle since anyone can start create a fan page on pretty much anything, but the site claims it is taking steps to fight the problem. "We've started building an automated system to detect this type of suspicious content and behavior more quickly before it's even reported," Simon Axten, a Facebook spokesman told PC World.
Facebook's most potent weapon to battle the problem would be its users exercising some savvy. Axten's advice is "be suspicious of anything that looks or feels strange online - whether it's an unfamiliar link in a message from a friend who hasn't contacted you in a while, or a promise of something valuable if you invite friends, provide personal information, or download software."
Be skeptical of fan pages of retailers that have relatively few fans rather than hundreds of thousand if not millions of fans.
There is nothing special about Facebook. You have to use the same common sense there as you do in the tactile world.