If you have been on Facebook for any length of time, then you know full well how scam and spam laden the site can be. Scammers love crowds, and there isn’t one bigger than Facebook.
Some of these scams are phishing schemes trying to obtain your username and password, while others end in surveys or other bogus offers. Several have been known to spread viruses and other malware, so it’s important to keep anti-virus software installed and updated.
We have created a top ten list of the most common and active Facebook scams to look out for:
- Profile Viewers and Profile Blockers – These scams promise to show you who has been looking at your profile or who has blocked you from theirs. NONE of these apps work. Facebook doesn’t give the developers access to the data required to create them.
- Free iPads & iPhones – Don’t be fooled by messages stating you can test and keep an iPad, iPhone etc. These are all marketing gimmicks.
- Bogus Facebook Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions – These are advance fee scams. The scammer typically sends a message from a hacked account advising the target they have won a large sum of money. The catch is that you must pay a ‘processing fee’ to claim the winnings. If you have to pay money before receiving money, then it’s a scam!
- Free Items, Gift Cards & Tickets – If it sounds too good to be true, then you can be sure that it is on Facebook! You aren’t going to get free airline tickets, Subway or Starbucks gift cards or a Facebook hoodie just by completing a survey.
- Breaking News Stories – Anytime a major news story breaks, keep your guard up. Scammers love to trick unsuspecting users with promises of “exclusive coverage.”
- Phishing Attempts to Steal Your Login Info – If a scammer can get your login credentials, then they can wreak all sorts of havoc before you reclaim your account. Messages pretending to be from Facebook Security is a popular way they trick users.
- New or Extra Facebook Features – Dislike unfriended you are just a few examples of these scams. While there are legitimate browser extensions that can offer these features, scammers often insert adware or malware into the plugins. We recommend that you only install apps and extensions from trusted, well-known developers. , apps to change your Facebook color or see who
- Shocking & Sexy Headlines – Anything that starts out with “OMG” or “Shocking” is best left alone on Facebook. They lure in victims with outlandish, steamy or perverted messages. These usually end in a survey scam and a video that doesn’t play.
- Fake Celebrity Stories – Facebook is not the place to receive your celebrity news and gossip! Scammers use fake deaths and other sensational stories to entice users. These often spread very fast, because users share the posts before verifying the story.
- “Help I’m Stranded and Need Money” – If you get a message from a friend stating that they are stranded in London or some other exotic locale, don’t rush down to Western Union to send them cash. They have likely had their Facebook account hi-jacked by scammers.
There you have it! This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but certainly gives you a good start on what to look out for.
These scams can spread Wall to Wall between users by click-jacking and like-jacking attacks, rogue applications and Fake Events, etc. Scammers will exploit any method they can, and sometimes can be quite creative. A common end game is a survey scam, but others are more malicious in their intent. Many users have received trojans, viruses and other malware infestations by falling victim to scams on Facebook.