How to spot clickbait

You see your friends sharing too good to be true coupons, but do you know how to spot clickbait on Facebook?

From free airline tickets, to gift cards and free Disney trips, Better Business Bureau gets calls from people who see the clickbait in their Facebook newsfeeds.

You may think it is from a company or someone you trust, which makes it more likely that you will click the link. Just yesterday, people were clicking on and sharing what looked like a coupon from Wegmans. The company said in a statement that the coupon is a fake.

Earlier this month, some people saw what looked like an offer for free tickets to Disney World. That turned out to be a fake, too.


The top photo is the real Walt Disney World

Facebook pages with the name Walt Disney-World popped up, telling people to click and share to enter to win.

There are several tell-tale signs of clickbait on a fake page/offer, including:

Poor grammar/spelling. Legitimate companies do not share posts on social media with spelling, capitalization and common grammar errors.

Is the page verified? Do you see a blue checkmark next to the name? That means the page has been verified by Facebook to be authentic. The real Walt Disney World page has over 15 million likes and is verified by Facebook.

Check the URL. Most legitimate companies have a very simple web address. If your hover over the hyperlink and the website looks fishy, don’t click it.

Is the offer too good to be true? It probably is! Saving hundreds of dollars on groceries or paying next to nothing for a trip or airfare aren’t common occurrences. While it would be nice, remember, the ultimate goal of the scammer is to get a hold of your personal information or access to your Facebook friends list or in some cases, access to your computer or device.

Did you see this “coupon” for Dick’s Sporting Goods? It’s also a scam, which was confirmed by the company.


Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York offers the following advice to avoid any issues with clickbait:

Don’t take the bait. Stay away from promotions that sound too good to be true.

Hover over a link to see its true destination. Before you click, put your mouse over the link to see where it takes you. Don’t click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.

Confirm before you trust your “friends” online. It might not actually be your friends who are “liking” or sharing scam posts. Their account may have been hacked and scammers.

Report any suspected scam posts on Facebook by following these instructions.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.