USA TODAY: Fact check: Identical injured dog posts are viral scam

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Wounded and lost animals are the perfect click bait on social media, and a recent viral video about an injured dog is a prime example.

The post which depicts a large dog, alledgedly hit by a car, is one of many ways that scammers tug at viewers heartstrings, explains an article in USA TODAY. Identical posts have been popping up in Facebook groups for locations all over the world. They have the same photo and the same text. Besides some small changes, the only notable difference is the name of the town in which the user claims the accident happened.

This is a technique used by scammers to identify people who may be vulnerable to other scam methods, said Jeffrey Blevins, a professor at the University of Cincinnati who specializes in misinformation.

Read the USA TODAY article to identify ways to avoid click bait and ways to verify information.

Professor Blevins is the co-author of “Social Media, Social Justice and the Political Economy of Online Networks.” He holds affiliate faculty positions at UC in the Department of Communications and the School of Public and International Affairs. His scholarship is grounded in U.S. telecommunication law and policy and engages critical political economy theory.

Featuerd image of Jeffrey Blevins at top UC Marketing + Brand.

/University Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.

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