Bitdefender Reveals the Biggest Scams on Facebook

While Facebook’s research and popularity continues to increase at a staggering pace, the social network is becoming an attractive target for malware and scam adversaries, and social engineering attacks on Facebook users only increased massively since the last decade.

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Photo: Pan Xunbin / Shutterstock

That’s why it’s important to be updated with the latest scams surrounding the network, so you’re not tempted into clicking on fake pictures or illicit links which redirect towards spammy websites or install something nasty on your PC.

According to Bitdefender, American actress and singer Taylor Swift has lost her scam appeal, as links to her “sex tape” which once spread like wildfire on Facebook was not in the top 10 most successful scams this time around. An analysis tipped the celebrity as less popular as last year, when her bogus video managed to spread malware across the social network.

While Taylor Swift has been dethroned from the top 10, Rihanna continues to top the list as the most tempting celebrity used as a bait for malware through Facebook and other social media networks. A free trip to Disneyland, which was popular last year, has also fallen from the top 10 list during the last 12 months.

The link that promises users the chance to see who has been looking at their profile remains top of the list for luring in users to click on some malware.

“Why do people still want to see who has been taking a peek at their profile, despite all security warnings? I think they believe these are legitimate apps,” said, Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist.

“This is social engineering at its finest – a challenging mental game that pushes the right psychological buttons. The baits have changed over time, with stalkers, peekers, admirers, overly attached girlfriends and exes haunting you, but the reason this scam works is simple: human nature.”

It’s no surprise that Facebook is becoming an obvious target for hackers and malware developers with the agenda of infecting innocent users; the company reported 1.32 billion active users in Q2, 2014, which is more than any other social network Internet users can access today.

Here’s the list highlighting top 10 Facebook scams 2014, with targeted territories included:

1. Total profile views/visitors (check out who’s viewed your profile) – 30.20 percent (Australia, UK/USA)

This is a link that promises to tell you who’s viewed your profile, but in reality directs you towards a website that asks you to dig deep and permit a malicious application to access your Facebook profile. Facebook recommends to remove rights to rogue apps if you’ve been a victim.

2. Change your Facebook color – 7.38 percent (Australia, UK/USA)

This scam offers to turn user profile backgrounds to pink, red or black, with screenshots posted of previews. Clicking to the link leads to a survey/poll outside Facebook, which is made by scammers. Scammers use it to increase their earnings by asking victims to fill surveys.

3. Rihanna sex tape with her boyfriend – 4.76 percent (Australia, UK/USA)

There have been several different recommendations of Rihanna’s fake sex tape in the past few months. These include names like Rihanna with Rihanna, Rihanna with her lesbian love, and Rihanna with boyfriend. These links also point to surveys, which are ongoing. Do not click on these videos.

4. Check my status update to get free Facebook T-shirt from Facebook – 4.21 percent (Australia, UK/USA)

Keep dreaming if you’ve clicked on one of these scams: the only person getting a free shirt from Facebook is the CEO Marc Zuckerberg himself, unless you participate in a live, official event or something like that. Remove any access to rogue applications if you have been a victim.

5. Say goodbye to Blue Facebook (Dites Aurevoir au Facebok BLEU) – 2.76 percent (France)

This scam is somewhat similar to the Facebook’s color change scam that’s second on the list, with a slightly different wording that’s more geared towards Facebook users who understand French. This also leads to never-ending surveys.

6. Unsealed. We are giving them away for free – 2.41 percent (Australia, UK/USA)

This giveaway ask people to like pages and receive gifts, but no giveaways are legit, and nobody receives anything. The pages only attracts likes under false pretenses so they can be sold to Internet marketers at a high price. Unsealed products and free: stay away.

7. Check if a friend has deleted you – 2.27 percent (Australia, UK/USA)

Security watches say there is no way to see if someone has deleted someone. If there was, there would not be any Privacy Settings on the network to begin with. These are illicit links that should be prohibited from the News Feed by reporting to Facebook.

8. See your top 10 profile peekers here! – 1.74 percent (Australia, UK/USA)

Stalkers are there on Facebook, but here’s the sad part: you can’t use any links to find out who they are. Leave aside your ego of discovering how much people see your profile because these links may install malicious programs on your PC.

9. Find out how to see who viewed your profile – 1.55 percent (Spanish-speaking countries)

This is the same scam as the first one on the list. There is no way available to see who has viewed your profile and it’s even listed in your Privacy Settings.

10. Just changed my Facebook theme – It’s Amazing! – 1.50 percent (Australia, UK/USA)

There is just no way to change colors of your profile, there is no way to change the theme. Stay away from such messages if you want to avoid any virus.