Add these Facebook scam tricks to the latest Top 10: Internet Scambusters #546
Three crooked tricks account for more than half of all Facebook scam ruses, according to a new study.
But after that, there are literally scores more scams that aim to infect computers, steal identities or dump spam on their unsuspecting victims. Others are just plain weird.
We have the details of the Top 10 Facebook scams in this week's issue, along with some more sneaky tricks that have surfaced recently.
Let's get started...
The Highs and Lows of a Facebook Scam
Facebook users who mistakenly believe they can discover who's been checking their profile still make up the largest group of Facebook scam victims, says a newly published report.
According to the online news service TechNewsDaily, almost a quarter of all scams on the world's biggest social network were links to bogus websites offering to tell users who might be stalking them without being official followers.
The scam, which we have reported on previously, then tells victims they have to download a program that will give them the information they need. In reality, it uploads malware onto their machines.
For the record, you can't find out who's been checking your Facebook profile.
Quoting Romanian Internet security firm BitDefender, TechNews also said the Number 2 scam relates to supposed lurid videos of pop singer Rihanna, with links that lead to either malware or spam.
Other common tricks include links that claim to be able to install additional buttons on your Facebook page or to change the site's well-known blue color theme.
Instead, the link invites you to complete a series of surveys that either gather information about you or earn commission for the crooks behind them.
BitDefender's full global Top 10 Facebook Scams list, which appears to duplicate some of the items, is as follows:
- Profile viewers -- 23.86%
- Rihanna tape with "his" boyfriend -- 17.09%
- Dites au revoir au Facebook bleu (Say goodbye to blue Facebook, used to change color theme) -- 16%
- Encontre la forma de ver quien ve mi perfil (See who's viewed your profile) -- 5.31%
- Check if a friend has deleted you -- 5.18%
- Taylor Swift scandal tape -- 3.76%
- Free Disneyland tickets -- 2.55%
- Enable your dislike button here -- 2.15%
- I can actually see who is spying -- 1.67%
- Estou tirando onda de facebook coloridao! (Change Facebook color) -- 1.64%
What's intriguing though is that if you do the math, you'll quickly spot that the percentages don't add up to 100!
That's because below the highs of the top 10 there are actually scores, perhaps hundreds, of "lows" -- additional Facebook scams, with more being pumped out every day.
You'll find some of them in our earlier reports.
But here are a few recent new ones to be on the lookout for:
An interesting variation on the "update your password" scam.
Using numerous phishing tricks, scammers discover victims sign-on details and hijack their account, changing its name to "Facebook Security," replacing the user's photo with the Facebook logo.
They then use this platform to contact all the victim's followers with a "final notice" that lures them to a phony sign-on page, where their own details are stolen and the whole process starts over again.
More Password Tricks
Another password-change scam email, recently received by a member of the Scambusters team, claimed to be a response to a previous request.
The official-looking message was headed "Reminder: Reset Your Password" and read as follows:
(Begin bogus message text)
You recently requested a new password for your Facebook account. It looks like we sent you an email with a link to reset your password 3 ago. This is a reminder that you need to complete this action by clicking *this link* and Confirm or Cancel your request. If you have any questions, please visit our *Help Center.*
The Facebook Team
(End bogus message text)
Note, there's a word missing after the number "3." And if you hovered your mouse over the links (which we've removed and highlighted with asterisks) you'd have seen that they connected to a malicious site in Germany, where there was a bogus sign-on page.
Message from Mark
Would Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg really write to you personally to warn he was suspending your account because you were violating Facebook's terms and conditions?
Of course not. But that doesn't stop the scammers who've been sending out such messages with, again, a link to click so you can verify your account -- phishing again, just a new variation of an old trick.
Like and Win (Not)
With this Facebook scam, victims are invited to "Like" a page and score a chance to win an expensive electronic product like high-end headphones (latest offer -- Dre Beats) or tablet computers (latest offer -- iPad Minis).
It's believed the scammers are simply trying to inflate the number of "Likes" for a page (47,000 in the case of the iPad Minis).
They then change its identity and name, obliterating the bogus offer, and sell the page with an army of built-in followers.
This one isn't malicious, just weird. It's based on the claim that every phone SIM card has its own name and, if you enter a certain word followed by a sequence that includes your phone number in the comment field of the post, you'll discover your SIM card's name.
What in fact it does is use the numbers to identify other Facebook members' account numbers and return their name.
Allegedly, one of the numbers actually "names" your SIM card Mark Zuckerberg.
Why? Who knows? But, for sure, we can tell you your phone SIM card doesn't have its own personal name!
These are just a sampling of the latest tricks you may encounter not just on Facebook but also on other social networking sites.
They can nearly all be avoided by not clicking on links, even those that seem to come from friends.
But even if you choose to click on a link, never, ever provide your sign-on details, even if it looks like a genuine Facebook page.
Instead, go directly to facebook.com and do your investigations there.
To add further protection against a Facebook scam, check out the organization's own privacy and safety rules.
Time to conclude for today -- have a great week!