If we've learned anything about Facebook users in the past few weeks it's that "knee jerk" doesn't even begin to describe the lack of thought that goes into the decision to share some piece of content. Facebook users will like anything and share anything. Like this photo and this baby gets a new heart? Sure, CLICK. Copy and paste this odd legal-sounding mumbo-jumbo and everything you ever post is now copyright protected? Awesome, CLICK.
Of course, throwing money into the equation only makes people more gullible and irrational, as we're seeing with the latest viral Facebook scam to plague the network - lottery winners sharing scams.
The first of these to go viral on the network came from a user named Nolan Daniels who posted this photo alongside the message, "Looks like I won't be going to work EVER!!!!! Share this photo and I will give a random person 1 million dollars!"
If the fact that it clearly appears photoshopped didn't tip you off, you should have realized that the numbers fail to follow the traditional Powerball ticket format - printed in ascending order. Bottom line, it's fake. As of the writing of this article, over 2 million users apparently never got the "if it sounds too goo to be true..." talk from their dads.
Another viral lottery "winner" is gaining steam too. This photo, posted by user Sokhavy Hilton, is accompanied by this message:
"Yes, I am one of the winner of 580$ Million PowerBall 🙂 I will pick 10 random people to get 1 Million $ each if you share this! I care for others too! :)"
Nice. Upping the ante, I see. The only problem here is that it's also a scam as the "winning" ticket clearly hails from Washington. We know from Powerball officials that there were only two winning tickets last Wednesday - one from Missouri and one from Arizona. That hasn't stopped that guy from receiving hundreds of thousands of shares, however.
I know it can be tempting. If someone tells you to share something for the chance at millions of dollars, why not share it right? Even if it's most likely bullshit, it's so easy to click one button. The only problem is that while you may only share it on the .01% chance that it's legit, another user may give up their bank information for the "direct deposit" that the scammer promised them.
Be smart, be courteous. And stop being so damn gullible.