Italian security researchers calculated that spammers posting third party links are earning $200m every year. Third party links are posting links on Facebook fan pages to send people to the third party spam sites.
Carlo De Micheli and Andrea Stroppa, the leaders of the group analysed and identified that spam use of phrases such as “Hey click here for a free iPhone” followed by links to sites which are outside the network. To tempt Facebook users to click on links, spammers offers fake fan pages and to get enough Likes on their page they can start selling links on it to third parties.
According to terms of Facebook’s service, which says that third-party advertisements on fan Pages are prohibited without their prior permission. The URLs of outside sites have hidden destination by using link-shortening services such as bit.ly or Tinyurl.com. It is also possible for researchers to track the ultimate destination and to figure out how many people have clicked on the link.
The spam posters are paid at an average of $13 per post, for the pages that have around 30,000 fans and the prices ranged from $35 to $100 per post for the pages with more than 100,000 fans.