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LIKE-FARMING SCAM - 'Wife Pregnant for 13 Months Needs Prayers'


Outline

Circulating Facebook message claims that a South African woman who has been pregnant for 13 months is about to have an operation and needs prayers. Users are asked to share the message and type 'Amen' as a comment. The message features a photograph of a heavily pregnant woman.

Facebook phising

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Brief Analysis

The claims in the message are outright lies. The photograph depicts a woman in a Haiti hospital maternity ward and was taken in March 2009. The message is nothing more than a callous attempt to promote a collection of sex and religion related Facebook Pages that are all chock full of drivelling nonsense. By tricking people into sharing and commenting on the post, the scammers can get their pages noticed by a much wider audience and gain many more Page likes.

Scroll down to read a detailed analysis with references.


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Example

A MUST READ!!! 'This is a photo of my wife. She has been pregnant for 13 months now and yet to deliver. She is about to be operated because the child is not coming out. Pls post this for me, I need your prayers, I don't want my wife or baby to die. We have been barren for 6 years and this is supposed to be our first child. PLEASE PRAY FOR HER'. From Mr. Ben - South Africa. Now we pray, the operation will be successful and Mr. Ben's wife & baby will be alive. To every one that reads this, type 'Amen' below and share this post if you wish her safe delivery. Don't ignore, they need your prayers.

Like-Farming Scam 13 Months Pregnant

Detailed Analysis

According to a message that is moving around Facebook and has also 'escaped' onto various prayer blogs and forums, a South African woman who has been pregnant for 13 months is in need of user prayers. The message features a photograph of a heavily pregnant woman laying in a hospital bed. In the message, the woman's husband begs for prayers for his wife and unborn child and claims that she is about to have an operation to deliver the baby. He asks users to share the message and add 'Amen' as a comment on the image.

However, the claims in the message are heinous lies. The post has no connection whatsoever with the pictured woman. Her picture was stolen from a 2009 news report about a maternity ward in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The caption on the original news article picture notes:
A nurse measures the belly of a woman at the maternity ward Cite Soleil's hospital in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, March 4 [2009]. Haiti has the highest maternal death rate in the Western Hemisphere, according to the United Nations.
The purpose of this nonsensical tale is simply to drive traffic to a set of trashy Facebook Pages that discuss sex, religion and relationships. The pages cross post much of the same rubbishy material. The '13 month pregnant' story has apparently been used to promote several of the Pages in turn.

By tricking users into sharing a Page message and adding a comment, the scammers are able to have their Pages noticed by a much wider audience and will therefore gain many more Page likes and user interactions.

This scam is similar to the ubiquitous sick child hoaxes that circulate on Facebook. These are also designed to draw attention to particular Facebook Pages, websites, or users.

If you receive one of these nasty like-farming scams, do not participate as instructed, as this will play right into the hands of the scammers responsible.



Last updated: April 8, 2014
First published: April 8, 2014
Written by Brett M. Christensen
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References
Port-au-Prince Maternity Ward
Facebook Sick Child Hoaxes
Facebook Like-Farming Scams






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