Two security researchers in Italy have estimated that spammers working on Facebook can bring in approximately $200million in a single year. Security experts Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli have been analyzing this alarming trend which is actually beneficial to Facebook, despite users being redirected to third-party scam sites.
Even though the postings breach Facebook’s terms of service, the spammers claim they aren’t doing anything wrong, and that they in fact are generating content which is shared widely over Facebook as a whole. Spammers work by posting links on Facebook fan pages with as many fans as possible; scam page owners pay them every time they link to scam sites on a popular page. The average spam poster earning $13 per post, but prices can go up much higher depending on the popularity of the Facebook page they’re spamming.
Many spammers begin by setting up their own fake Facebook fan pages; when fans join these fake pages they are tricked into clicking on scam websites posted on these pages. Some fan page moderators have even been known to sell their fan pages to spammers to use for their own purposes.
Although Facebook have stated that they are doing everything possible to ban spam from the website, there are still plenty of scam links being posted, so it is important for users to be careful what they click.