Facebook is one of the top social media platforms, currently having 1.79 billion active accounts (that’s over 1/3rd of the world’s population). Even though Facebook is mostly safe, there are some common scams intended to steal your personal information, or phish your credentials. You can easily spot and avoid them.
- Sensational News / Video:
Often, you might come across a post on your wall about some outrageous, eye catching news (with link) about a celebrity, from a questionable source. It usually directs you to a site, where first you have to install an app, fill out your personal details, or share the post to view it. Even if you complete the “task”, it will turn out to be bogus.
This is just a scam designed to steal your personal information, or install a malware in your laptop. Please verify such sources. If there is indeed such a sensational news, there will be lots of news channels posting it, not just one source.
- Free Gifts by liking a post:
Have you encountered posts saying “Click on this link to get a chance to win100 iPhones”? It leads you to an app where you allow grant the app certain permissions to proceed further.
This scam is designed to trick you into allowing the app to post on your friend’s timeline. This spreads the scam using you, without you even knowing about it. So next time when you see such a link, keep scrolling.
- Filling Survey for Gift / Facebook Credits:
Sometimes you might encounter a link saying “Fill up a simple survey and win…. “. You will be directed to a website where you will need to fill a survey in order to get a gift or Facebook credits. While this might seem like a lucrative offer, it is usually a scam designed to steal your personal details. Needless to say, those “Gifts” and “Facebook Credits” are never “won”.
- Suspicious Applications:
There are numerous application on Facebook. Some of them include “Find out the True meaning of your name.”, “Find out who has a secret crush on you.”, “Which celebrity do you look like?”, etc. Most of these applications are simply designed to steal your personal information, photos, friend list, etc. If you do not check what permissions you are granting the application, the app may send out messages to all your friends, post on your timeline, etc.
One such hoax application is “Find out who viewed your profile”. Alas, Facebook has no such functionality which enables you to track who viewed your profile. This app is just a petty scam, nothing else.
- Suspicious Messages from friends:
Have you ever received a message from a friend of yours saying “Hey look, I found a video of you, check it out”? As soon as you click on the link, you are directed to site with a message popping up: “You need to update your Flash Player to view this video”. If you try to do so using the link provided in that site, you are simply inviting malware into your system. Always download updates from the official site.
So next time when you are about to click on a link to a juicy video, news or an app, think twice.