Facebook is a powerful social platform, often used for good, but scammers and hoax spreaders are pretty common.
Here are some of the most recent scams and falsehoods circulating on Facebook from Hoax-Slayer.com , a site that has been exposing online scams for a decade and from Snopes.com , another scam-busing site.
Tumor scam -- A post claims that liking, sharing or commenting on the picture of a boy with a large tumor will result in Facebook and CNN will paying for surgery costs. The claim is false and is designed to get unsuspecting users to get more messages from a scam page. Image courtesy: Hoax-slayer.com
Disney World Vacation -- A message claims to be giving 50 people an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World. The message is from a fake Disney World page, but it duped thousands of people. There are no prizes.
Sick Baby -- A message claims prayers for an infant will be sent by liking and sharing the image, with sharing the picture worth "100 prayers." It's one of numerous sick baby hoaxes. The picture was taken from a legitimate Facebook account, but the child in the picture died, and the fact that the message continues to circulate is distressing to the family. Image courtesy: Hoax-slayer.com
Verify Facebook Account -- A post claims users must either register or verify accounts by pasting code into their browser and that if you don't, your account will be disabled. In reality, the code gives others access to your Facebook account. Image courtesy: Hoax-slayer.com
Devil's Pool Fall -- A post claims that a man was taking an "epic selfie" when he fell off the edge of the Devil's Pool at Victoria Falls in Africa and that you can click to watch the video. The play button prompts a user to share the message, which propagates the scam to sign up for bogus video sites. Image courtesy: Hoax-slayer.com
$600,000 "prize" -- A post claims Facebook gave 50 lucky winners $600,000, and you're one of the winners. If you contact the number or email address associated with the scam, you'll be asked to pay fees. Of course, the prize is fake. Image courtesy: Hoax-slayer.com
Facebook Test -- A message claims that Facebook is limiting the number of people who see posts to 7 percent. While it is true that Facebook controls how many people see individual posts, there is no arbitrary percentage. Image courtesy: Hoax-slayer.com
Mermaid Found Inside Shark – A post circulating as "breaking news" claims you can see an image of the body of a mermaid found inside a shark. If you click the link you're taken to a page that prompts you to share the message before you can see the video. It then redirects to multiple scams. Image courtesy: Hoax-slayer.com
No swearing campaign -- A message claims that Facebook planned to start a "no swearing campain" in March. An obvious misspelling was the first tipoff this was false. It claimed that users who used profanities would be banned permanently. Image courtesy: Snopes
Do not open Facebook messages – A message claims that private messages should not be opened on Facebook because of "malicious malware." The message begins with "DO NOT OPEN ANY PMS FROM ANYONE!!!" The inclusion of four exclamation points is the first tip off that it's bogus.
Teen Died -- A viral message on Facebook claims a teen died after she was held down and assaulted. It claims you can watch the attack by clicking the play button. It then prompts users to share the post, but the video doesn't exist and sends users to fake survey pages. Image courtesy: Hoax-slayer.com
A message claims Facebook will start charging in January 2015. It's not true. Facebook has not announced plans to charge users for services. It's an update of a recurring false message. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A message says users who like a page, share an image and comment have a chance to win a BMW M5. It's designed to spread additional spam and scams. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A message claims a page is giving away "193 pieces of iPad 2" to people who share a picture and like the page. It's a scam designed to rack up page likes. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A message claims changing your profile picture to that of a giraffe will let hackers steal your Facebook password and control your computer remotely. There is no such virus. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A picture of a baby with cuts on his face claims the child has cancer and that Facebook will donate money to help when a user likes, shares or comments. The child doesn't have cancer, and the child was abused. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A message claims Miley Cyrus committed suicide and asks fans to click to view a message from her. It's designed to trick users into installing rogue apps or malicious browser extensions. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A page claims users who like and share a picture will have a chance to win an Apple iPhone 5c. No iPhones are being given away. The scammer is trying to get likes for additional spam campaigns. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A page posing as a JetBlue page claims users can win a six-day, all expenses paid vacation by liking and sharing an image. The page is not associated with JetBlue, and vacations are not being given away. Image from hoax-slayer.com
Computers are not being given away. The scam aims to artificially inflate the number of likes on the page and trick users into submitting information to fake survey sites. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A message claims "Death Age" will post messages from accounts that have been infected. There is an app that sends out messages in the names of users who have given permission, but it doesn't "infect" accounts. Image from hoax-slayer.com
Message claiming it's from the company says users can win a vacation by liking and sharing an image and applying. This has no connection to Carnival and there is no prize. Image from hoax-slayer.com
Messages claim that users can get a $500 voucher from Costco by liking and sharing a picture, commenting and clicking a link. It's designed to trick users into taking a fake survey. Image from hoax-slayer.com
This is a new version of earlier phishing scans targeting Facebook users. The link opens a fake website that asks users to provide Facebook login details, along with personal and financial information. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A page says that a 2013 Ford Mustang is being given away. Users are told to like the page, share an image and comment. It is fraudulent, with no connection to Facebook or Ford. Image from hoax-slayer.com
Message warns that items posted on Facebook can be seen by anyone -- apparently a reference to graph search, which does not change privacy settings. Users who follow instructions will stop friends from seeing their posts. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A message claiming to be from an X Factor fan page claims that those who like the page and share an image can win 1 of 250 iMacs. It's a like-farming scam. Nothing is being given away. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A message claims users who share the image can get an iPhone 6 for free. It's meant to trick people into promoting a bogus page. The iPhone 6 doesn't currently exist. Image from hoax-slayer.com
A page claims Celine Dion's death. The links lead to a rogue Facebook app that will send the false death report to all friends and may ask to participate in survey scams or install malicious applications. Image from hoax-slayer.com