If you have been on Facebook for any length of time, then you know full well how scam and spam laden the site can be. Scammers love crowds, and there isn’t one bigger than Facebook.
Some of these scams are phishing schemes trying to obtain your username and password, while others end in surveys or other bogus offers. Several have been known to spread viruses and other malware, so it’s important to keep anti-virus software installed and updated.
Here is a list of 10 common active Facebook scams to look out for:
1. Profile Viewers and Profile Blockers – These scams promise to show you who has been looking at your profile or who has blocked you from theirs. NONE of these apps work. Facebook doesn’t give the developers access to the data required to create them.
2. Free iPads & iPhones – Don’t be fooled by messages stating you can test and keep an iPad, iPhone etc. These are all marketing gimmicks.
3. Free Facebook Credits – This scam is targeted for the gamers on Facebook. Credits are used to purchase items in Farmville, Cityville, etc. Credits cost real money and you aren’t going to receive a large sum of them for free.
4. Free Items, Gift Cards & Tickets – If it sounds too good to be true, then you can be sure that it is on Facebook! You aren’t going to get free airline tickets, Subway or Starbucks gift cards or a Facebook hoodie just by completing a survey.
5. Breaking News Stories – Anytime a major news story breaks, keep your guard up. Scammers love to trick unsuspecting users with promises of “exclusive coverage.”
6. Phishing Attempts to Steal Your Login Info – If a scammer can get your login credentials, then they can wreck all sorts of havoc before you reclaim your account. Messages pretending to be from Facebook Security is a popular way they trick users.
7. Bogus Chat Messages – A compromised Facebook account uses rogue applications to send scam links to users via Facebook Chat. Be wary of messages that say something like: “hey is this you,” “look at you in this video,” “wanna laugh.” Don’t click any links received in chat until you verify they are legitimate.
8. Shocking & Sexy Headlines – Anything that starts out with “OMG” or “Shocking” is best left alone on Facebook. They lure in victims with outlandish, steamy or perverted messages. These usually end in a survey scam and a video that doesn’t play.
9. Fake Celebrity Stories – Facebook is not the place to receive your celebrity news and gossip! Scammers use fake deaths and other sensational stories to entice users. These often spread very fast, because users share the posts before verifying the story.
10. “Help I’m Stranded and Need Money” – If you get a message from a friend stating that they are stranded in London or some other exotic locale, don’t rush down to Western Union to send them cash. They have likely had their Facebook account hi-jacked by scammers.
There is also a new Facebook hoax doing the rounds which claims to stop your posts appearing in the ticker bar on the right that displays everyones latest status posts. If you do what it says you will just not see any posts by your friends in your news feed. It looks like this and it is completely untrue:
“With the new ‘FB timeline’ on its way this week for EVERYONE…please do both of us a favor: Hover over my name above. In a few seconds you’ll see a box that says “Subscribed.” Hover over that, then go to “Comments and Likes” and “Games” and un-click it. That will stop my posts and yours to me from showing up on the side bar(ticker) for everyone to see, but MOST IMPORTANTLY it LIMITS HACKERS from invading our profiles. If you re-post this I will do the same for you. You’ll know I’ve acknowledged you because if you tell me that you’ve done it I’ll ‘like’ it. Thanks”
You can find out more about what to avoid on facebook here: http://facecrooks.com/