Are you dying to know who's viewed your Facebook profile? Scammers bet you are and will tempt you with fake apps promising to reveal who's been stalking you on Facebook.
In a study released today (April 18) by security software firm Bitdefender, about 25 percent of all Facebook scams detected over the past six months promise to show Facebook users who has looked at their profiles. But what they get instead is trouble.
"The most common path after clicking on the scamming links is either landing on endless surveys and fraudulent websites, where you may have your credentials stolen, or on a page loaded with malware such as banking Trojans," Catalin Cosoi, a security strategist for Bitdefender, told us. "A malicious app can post on your behalf, and spreads on your friends' timeline[s] as well."
The research also offers a glimpse into the hidden desires of many Facebook users, Cosoi said.
Second to stalkers (and remember, a stalker can also be an admirer, depending on a person's feelings for the viewer), the sexy antics of celebrities appear as lures in most scams. The promise of a Rihanna sex tape was used in almost one in five Facebook scams. Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber , Selena Gomez and Chris Brown followed in order as the celebrity names most frequently abused by scammers.
The Facebook security team has made a lot of improvements to reduce the complexity and number of scams, Bitdefender said. But the scams persist. Prevention is the best protection: Don't click on links that make tempting promises, even if they appear to be from a friend.
But what should you do if you've already clicked on a harmful link? Cosoi recommends removing the malicious posts from your timeline or deleting the app from your account in the AppCenter. Also, warn your friends and have them do the same. Finally, run a security check on your computer with an antivirus scanner, and consider a Facebook security app to protect your account in the future. Of course, Bitdefender recommends its own Safego app.
Top 10 Facebook Scams
- Total profile viewers - 23.86%
- Rihanna sex tape with his [sic] boyfriend - 17.09%
- 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%
- Dites au revoir au Facebook bleu (Say goodbye to blue Facebook, used to change color theme) - 16%
- Taylor Swift sex 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 [sic]! (Change Facebook color) - 1.64%
(Various other scams made up the balance of 32.53%)