Facebook is one of the biggest hubs of social activity, which makes it a ripe target for people who want to cheat and swindle others. From spreading fake information to using Facebook’s own site against them, scammers have taken to Facebook in hopes of cheating its vast user base out of their personal information.
As such, it’s a good idea to wise up to their tricks so you can avoid falling prey to their dastardly tricks! Let’s take a look at some ways scammers are targeting users.
1. Scam Ads
Unfortunately, Facebook has had a problem with bad ads in recent months. They’ve gotten so bad that the owner of MoneySavingExpert tried to sue Facebook after scam ads used his picture to promote their phony services.
These are particularly bad, as they show that Facebook isn’t vetting advertisements as well as they should. The web host is partly responsible for ensuring the ads they display won’t mislead their readers, and seeing a tech giant publish such ads is a worrying development.
If you see an advertisement that seems “too good to be true,” it very likely is! Be careful of the ads you click on, and be vigilant even with the ones you deem worthy of your time.
2. “Hidden Statistics” Scams
These are scams that offer to give you insider information that Facebook doesn’t provide. This includes features such as revealing who has secretly blocked or muted you, as well as information on who viewed your profile. This will often come with a clickable link to draw people into the scam.
Third parties have no way of giving you more information than the kind Facebook currently provides themselves. If someone shares a post about a website or piece of software that can reveal these “hidden statistics,” don’t click the link!
3. Ego Attacks
Scammers know that people on Facebook care about their outward appearance and social standings. That’s why they engineer attacks that target the egos of the people reading it. They usually go one of two ways: they threaten the ego or boost it.
For the former, they’ll claim that an “embarrassing” video or photograph of you is making the circuit around Facebook. They’ll also claim they’re doing you a favour by alerting you to this piece of media. They’ll give you a link to click to ask you if it is, in fact, you in the video or image.
For the latter, they’ll make a claim that they know what photo or video of you has garnered the most amount of likes, shares, or views. You can find out what image or photo people loved the most by clicking the link they provide. This is somewhat like the hidden statistics scam, but it plays off of the victim’s self image instead.
Whichever way the scammer takes, the result is the same; the link leads to a scam webpage or download that does damage once activated. Don’t buy into the idea of “hidden statistics” – they’re simply not there!
4. Shocking News Headlines
Scammers sometimes use the shock factor to get people to click their links. They’ll often start sending around a horrific news article that’s completely fabricated, such as the murder of a celebrity. They hope others will click the link while in a state of shocked panic and end up being redirected to a scam page.
Before you click on any suspiciously shocking news, it’s always worth searching it on Google first. If you can’t find any hits, there’s a good chance the story is either fake or still developing. Either way, it’s a good idea to hold off on clicking it until you know for sure!
Facing Up to Facebook Scams
With Facebook being so popular, it’s not too difficult to see why scammers have taken to it. Now you know some of the more prevalent tricks and how to avoid them.
Have you seen Facebook scams in the wild? Are there any you’ve seen that you’d like to bring attention to? Let us know below.