Distributing malicious links using social networks is nothing new but they're still very effective. One of the most popular scams is to get users to click on a link to see who has viewed your profile when in reality, it's impossible to tell. Still thousands of users fall prey to these types of scams.
The security company, Bitdefender, complied a list of the top 10 most successful Facebook scams in hopes of educating users. These different "hooks" to get users to click on links use things like celebrity sex tapes or profile customization tools to lure Facebook users into clicking a malicious link. These links have the ability to steal users information or execute in installation of malicious software on a users' computer.
Here are the top 10 Facebook scams according to Bitdefender. The list also lists their proportions to all scams on Facebook and where they're the most effective:
- Who visited my profile? - 23.86% (US/UK and international)
- Rihanna sex tape - 17.09% (US/UK - international)
- Who visits my profile? - 5.31% (Spain)
- Check if a friend has deleted you - 5.18% (US/UK - international)
- Say goodbye to Facebook blue - 4.16% (France)
- Taylor Swift sex tape - 3.76% (US/UK - international)
- Free tickets to Disneyland - 2.55% (US/UK - international)
- Get a "dislike" button - 2.15% (US/UK - international)
- Check who's looking at my profile - 1.64% (Portugal)
- Change your Facebook color - 1.64% (Portugal)
Other scams - 32.53%
Although Facebook is cracking down on these types of scams (the amount of these malicious links have been declining), these scams are still circulating. Attackers user popular celebrity names like Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Chris Brown to get users to click. Interestingly, Bitdefender's study shows that French and Spanish users are most likely to fall prey to profile customization scams. Remember, Facebook doesn't offer profile customizations like MySpace did.
As usual, people need to exercise common sense when clicking suspicious looking links.