It is undeniable that Facebook’s advancement and popularity is unmatched in the social platform realm, and it is still increasing its user base at a staggering rate. It has been reported that Facebook now has over 1.32 Billion members. Because of this, it is targeted by hackers and unscrupulous individuals who have malicious intentions. It has become a strong platform for hackers to inject malware, social engineering and other scams. This is evident in the massive increase of attacks on Facebook users over the last decade.
It helps to be updated with the trending scams surrounding the social media, so we will be more careful in clicking illicit links or fake pictures that will redirect to fraudulent websites or installing malware on our devices. However, once you grow accustomed to the telltale signs of these phishing links, it becomes second nature to steer clear of them.
Popular celebrities like Rihanna and Taylor Swift are being used as bait for malware when their suspected sex videos were dispersed like wild fire. Users simply cannot resist the temptation to click on these links because they want to really see if it’s legitimate.
Here are the Facebook scams that made it to the Top 5 list:
1. See who’s checking your profile
30.2% (UK/USA, Australia) of members fell victims to this. It is an application that promises to tell you who has checked out your Facebook page, and we recommend that you remove any rights of unknown applications on your computers and other devices.
2. Facebook Color Change
7.38 % (UK/USA, Australia)of users got affected by this. This scam will deceive you by leading you to believe that the application will enable you to change the color of your user profile. Upon clicking you will then be led to a survey which scammers use to increase their earnings by having you answer the surveys.
3. Rihanna sex video tape with alleged boyfriend
4.76 % (UK/USA, Australia) got tricked by this. There are different versions of this like the alleged sex tape of the celebrity with a lesbian, Rihanna with boyfriend and another girl with Rihanna. Currently it still proliferates and once you click the video will be led to another page and be coerced into answering a survey for the hackers own benefit.
4. Get free T-Shirts from Facebook by checking your status update
4.21 % (UK/USA, Australia) got this scam. You can keep dreaming and waiting for a shirt that will never be yours. You may only get T-shirts if you participate in a Facebook event or something to that effect. Again, remove any unknown applications on your device.
5. Say bye bye to Blue Facebook (Already translated)
2.76 percent (France) It is somehow the same with the “Change you Facebook color” scam. It is written in French and has a small difference with the wordings but also leads to endless surveys.
How to Better Spot Malicious Links:
When it comes to detecting these links, one very common sign you will come across, is being forced to “share” the link on your wall, in order to gain access to the site link. If you see this, close the browser window, do not share it. It can effectively infect you with malware or commit various other actions without your consent, such as liking various groups and pages on your Facebook profile.
The best defense is common sense. If you see something that seems fake, or too good to be true type of offer, do not follow or like any of those links and pages. You will often see fake brand name groups offering free laptops or smart phones because of some minimal “error” in the packaging. Do not fall for these, no company will give away perfectly good products because of a packaging error, they will just fix the packaging! Fake contests appear everywhere and only serve the purpose of taking your personal information to further spam you, while others will lead you to malicious websites.
Remember to share this knowledge when you see a friend or family member sharing such links. Only by sharing the information, can we effectively educate and help others avoid the same misfortune. Reporting the abusive link to Facebook is also highly encouraged, as the more people report, the faster it will be looked at and removed. Unfortunately, they will appear faster than we can block them, therefore it remains important to be vigilant.
To increase your security while browsing Facebook, check out our article on the best VPN for Facebook usage.