Facebook Scams

Facebook Scams

Similar to email spam, one way to stop Facebook spam from distribution is to be trained about malware and phishing messages. Know how to mark them and also make known yourself with how these Facebook spam messages work

As the number of Facebook users grows, the potential pool of victims expands. With over 2.8 billion active users, it's not surprising that Facebook has become a prime target for phishing scams, harmful spam, and malware attacks. For avid internet users, while spam is a noticeable annoyance, it poses a potential risk to both privacy and computer systems. Commonly encountered in emails as deceptive ads and phishing scams, this form of spam also permeates Facebook. Thankfully, numerous government and other anti-spam organizations are diligently working to curb and eliminate such malicious activities from the platform.

How to Protect Our Facebook Account from Spam and Scams

On Facebook, if you're not aware of these deceptive inbox and Wall posts, you might unknowingly expose your friends to scams. Just like email spam, one effective way to prevent the spread of Facebook spam is to educate yourself about malware and phishing messages. It's essential to recognize and identify them and to familiarize yourself with how these fraudulent messages operate on Facebook.

Facebook Wall Spam

A common type of Facebook spam involves a Wall post urging you to install a Facebook application. This application often requests permission to post on your Wall and the pages of your Facebook friends. Once granted, it immediately shares the spam message on your friends' Walls. If any friend interacts with this post, the same spam appears on their Wall, continuing the chain. This rapid propagation is how spam messages spread swiftly across Facebook.

Regrettably, many messages aim to deceive Facebook users by urging them to input harmful code into their browser's address bar or by prompting them to click on a link embedded in the message. These links, often concealed by URL shorteners, can lead users away from Facebook and expose them to malicious malware and phishing scams. Thankfully, Facebook has implemented several security measures, capable of detecting and flagging many such deceptive messages before they proliferate. In certain cases, users might be prompted to confirm a "Like," or they might receive a warning from Facebook indicating that a link they're about to access has been identified as potentially harmful.

7 Tips to Avoid Facebook Wall Scam

Staying vigilant is the key to preventing the spread of deceptive messages. It's essential to discern between legitimate messages from friends and potential spam. The following tips will guide you in distinguishing between authentic and malicious messages:

  • Assess the content: Does the message align with the usual content shared by your friend? For instance, if you receive a seemingly sensational post like "Oh My God! Check out this video" from a typically professional contact, it might not be genuinely from them. If the tone or content seems out of character, refrain from clicking the link.

  • Monitor your Facebook feed: Are you repeatedly seeing the same message? If so, it's likely an automated scam spreading through the platform.

  • Scrutinize app permissions: Be wary of applications that ask for extensive permissions, especially if it's just to view a video. Question why an app would need to access all your data or have the rights to post on both your and your friends' walls. Exercise caution with apps that request such expansive permissions.

  • Check for unusual short links: Be cautious if a friend, who doesn't typically share links, suddenly posts a shortened link on your Wall. This deviation in behavior might indicate a compromised account.

  • Verify URLs before clicking: If a message claims to redirect you to a well-known site like YouTube, hover over the link (without clicking) to preview the actual URL in your browser's footer. Ensure it matches the legitimate web address and isn't a mimic.

  • Avoid further interaction if redirected unexpectedly: If you find yourself on an unfamiliar page that wasn't anticipated, steer clear of any clickable elements on the page.

  • Adopt a cautious mindset: If a post feels off or suspicious, it's better to remove it. Hovering over the top right corner of any post will reveal an 'X' - click on it to see options, including the removal of the post from your Wall.

Most Common types of Facebook Scams

1) The "See Who Viewed Your Profile" Scam!

Numerous sites claim they can reveal users who frequently view your profile or have blocked you. Many Facebook users become enticed by the prospect of discovering who's been checking out their profiles. However, the truth is that Facebook does not grant such permissions to developers. These claims are merely strategies by scammers to entice users into clicking on their misleading links.

2) Beware of the "Advertisement" Scams!

If you suspect interactions with a scammer, it's crucial to cease all communications immediately and consult with a legal representative to examine any potential damages. Always report suspected scams to local authorities promptly.

warning facebook scam

3) "Exclusive" Facebook Features: A Common Scam!

Scammers often allure users to phishing sites by promising enhanced Facebook experiences or introducing "new" features like a "dislike" button. Their primary objective is to drive more users to their deceptive pages and harvest their data.

4) The "Win Free iPads and iPhones" Deception!

The promise of "free iPads and iPhones" is seeing a noticeable spike on social media platforms. Scammers exploit the vast reach of platforms like Facebook to spread such too-good-to-be-true offers, knowing well that news of free gadgets spreads faster than most genuine news, ensnaring unsuspecting users.

5) Acquire In-game Credits: A Trap Set by Scammers!

As Facebook's user base expands, so does the ingenuity of scammers. Some set up deceptive pages promising users in-game credits for popular games like Candy Crush or FarmVille. Eager gamers can easily fall prey to these schemes.

7) Beware of Clickbait Headlines & Fake Celebrity News!

Crafting fake, sensational headlines or dubious celebrity stories, scammers aim for virality—enticing users to share these stories, thus broadening their reach. As Facebook continues to grow, it unfortunately becomes a more fertile ground for such misleading content.

8) Don't Fall for Fake Privacy Setting Ploys!

A scammer's endgame is often to acquire personal information. Some impersonate Facebook's security team, asking users to verify their credentials. It's paramount to remain cautious and avoid providing personal details on unfamiliar platforms or sites.

Spotting Facebook Scams: A Few Examples

Beware of the increasing prevalence of scams on Facebook. One particularly notorious post claims that the user has won a massive sum of money, duping them with fraudulent letters that announce their "winnings". This ruse has set off alerts from state lotteries across the nation, with Oklahoma being no exception. Such scams exploit the natural human tendency to be drawn to quick rewards or financial gains. It's essential to always approach such claims with skepticism. Authentic lotteries or sweepstakes rarely, if ever, ask for personal information or upfront fees. By staying informed and vigilant, users can better safeguard themselves against these digital pitfalls.

Oklahoma Lottery warning facebook scam

Scammers often impersonate others, attempting to deceive users by posing as their friends. The convincing nature of these fake profiles can easily lead users to believe they are interacting with genuine accounts. As a result, they might share personal information or engage in conversations that they wouldn't with strangers. It's crucial for individuals to verify the authenticity of requests or messages they receive, especially if the content seems out of character for the friend in question. Regularly reviewing and updating security settings can also help in staying one step ahead of these deceitful tactics.

Facebook Identity Theft Scam

Scammers often capitalize on anticipated news or events, weaving their deceptive tactics into the fabric of these happenings. A prime example of this is the "dislike button" ruse. Many users were led to believe that Facebook was introducing such a feature due to misleading campaigns, even though the official Facebook team had no such plans. It's crucial for users to verify news from official sources and be wary of engaging with or sharing information about features or events that aren't confirmed by reputable outlets. In our ever-evolving digital age, staying informed and cautious can help in avoiding falling prey to such schemes.

dislike button scam

Old Facebook Scam:

Crafty scammers often obtain a user's email address and masquerade as Facebook notifications, claiming that the user has been tagged in a friend's photo. Many times, users, out of habit or excitement, overlook the source of the email. Upon clicking the link provided, they unknowingly download malicious software or viruses onto their devices. It's essential for users to remain vigilant, always checking the sender's address and being cautious about clicking on links from unverified sources. Regularly updating and maintaining a good antivirus software can also provide an added layer of protection against such deceptive tactics.