Facebook Scams Sink Users: Fight Back!
Facebook is a great way to get scammed while wasting time by keeping up with the fabulously glamorous lives of all your friends. What crazy scams are catching people out?
New analysis by Internet security company BitDefender has uncovered the top 10 Facebook scams of the past 12 months, which work because of ‘human nature’ compelling people to click on things they shouldn’t.
One of the top scams is one that asks “guess who viewed your profile”, alongside others offering “free Disney tickets” and a way to “change your Facebook colour”.
Pop starlet Rihanna has also overtaken that pop sensation Taylor Swift as a reliable malware delivery mechanism alongside and endless scam surveys for users hoping to see a bit more than just Rihanna’s album.
Other unlikely but successful scams include the lure of free Facebook T-Shirts and other brand name clothing, which also send users down the path of survey scams seeking details like your name, email address and other personal information, while also trying to install malicious Facebook add-ons that mine other sensitive data.
BitDefender’s Chief Security Strategist, Catalin Cosoi, said that “despite all security warnings, users still want to see who has been taking a look at their profile because they believe these are legitimate apps.
“This is social engineering at its finest, a challenging mental game that pushes the right psychological buttons. While the bait changes over time (stalkers, admirers, overly-attached girlfriends and exes), the reason this scam works is simple: human nature.”
So, what are the top 10 most widespread Facebook scams? The percentages below show the percentage from the total number of scams in the countries listed.
1. Total profile views/visitors which ask you to “Check out now who viewed your profile” – 30.20pc (US/UK, Australia)
2. Change your Facebook Colour scam – 7.38pc (US/UK, Australia)
3. Rihanna sex tape with her boyfriend scam – 4.76pc (US/UK, Australia)
4. Check my status update to get free Facebook T-shirt from Facebook scam – 4.21pc (US/UK, Australia)
5. Say goodbye to Blue Facebook scam – 2.76pc (France)
6. Unsealed prizes scam. “We are giving them away for free” – 2.41pc (US/UK, Australia)
7. Check if a friend has deleted you – 2.27pc (US/UK, Australia)
8. See your top 10 profile peekers here! You’re told that “You will be shocked to find out your ex is still creeping on your profile!” – 1.74pc (US/UK, Australia)
9. Find out how to see who viewed your profile – 1.55pc (Spanish-speaking countries)
10. “I just changed my Facebook theme. It’s amazing” – 1.50pc (US/UK, Australia)
Incredibly, there are still plenty more scams which comprised a total of 41.22pc of all Facebook scams in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and China.
BitDefender warns there’s also an increasing number of viral video scams which are “abusing Facebook’s ‘like’ and ‘share’ options”, with fraudulent sites using “likejacking” and YouTube, spreading out in English, German, Chinese and Italian.
Although Facebook does have some security software to try and detect scams, BitDefender noted that the scammers are getting increasingly tricky, using terms such as “Check 0ut n0w wh0 viewed ur profile” message to defeat any automated anti-scam scanners.
Naturally, BitDefender has a free Facebook app called Safego that can help you stay protected. It scans timelines and alerts users to malicious and fraudulent posts.
For even more free information on how to protect your social media activities from scammers, take a look at BitDefender’s dedicated free security guide.