Some scams are designed to bilk money out of the unsuspecting, but others are intended simply to suck in attention or approbation. In that latter category, the “bet with my boss” scam currently circulating in the social media world is exceedingly effective.
It goes like this: “I have a bet with my boss, who claims that Facebook [or LinkedIn or Twitter or Google+] is a useless marketing tool. He’s agreed to pay me $1 for every like/comment [or +1 or retweet] I get.”
The idea, of course, is to get the reader to like, +1, or retweet the message, and (perhaps because we all love spending someone else’s money) many have complied.
Even TheNextWeb ran a blog post about how the site itself was sucked in, having run an earlier post about a man in the U.K. who supposedly won more than 11,000 pounds in such a bet. Several readers had immediately alerted TNW to different versions of the scam on various social media.
But…check out these results: The Google+ version of the hoax got more than 4,000 +1s, while a LinkedIn post got liked more than 19,000 times. And we’ve all seen messages from legit contacts asking us to “Help our cause get to 1,000 likes” or some such.
Where does hoax end and smart promotion begin?
Get all the embarrassing details at TheNextWeb.