A very disturbing trend has been observed recently on Facebook which has affected more than 10 Million users worldwide. The findings by IT security and data protection firm Sophos reveals that in an attempt to generate income from online survey scams, spammers invite Facebook users to fake events. And there is no stopping these scamsters. Even as we speak, lakhs of users are being fooled into this trap.
We are sure most of you would have noticed the public event – “Who blocked you from his friend list?”. This event has already lured more than 1.65 lakh users and more than 1 crore users are yet to decide, i.e. the request is pending at their end. What convinces users to fall for such fake events? The answer lies in the “More Info” section, where these scammers embed fake instructions about the event. This makes the users believe that the event is live & happening. These fake events then ask the users to fill online forms, play in competitions, etc. These forms, games and surveys are a source of revenue for the owners of these fake events. A section of users has also reported to being subscribed to mobile services without their consent after filling up these forms!
Just in case one of you has been a victim of such a fake event then make sure you unsubscribe to the same. Inform your friends about the same and help them save time, energy and even money. If you have been subscribed to a premium mobile service, or have shared your mobile number, then make sure that you inform your mobile operator of the same. This should keep any bogus charges being slapped in your monthly bill.
So, the next time you get an invite to such an event, do cross check the credentials closely before accepting it. Some more popular scams you need to watch out for--
1. Facebook Phishing Landing Pages
The simplest way to scam on Facebook is by PHISHING. The way it works is that a user’s account is compromised by a hacker and the hacker then uses that account to automatically post links on each of that user’s friends’ walls. It’s pretty straight forward, and it’s easy to avoid, however countless people have fallen for this scam. The easiest way to tell if it’s a scam is by looking at the URL of the page you land on. The best way to protect yourself is, anytime you see a Facebook login page, leave it and go to http://www.facebook.com in your browser. That way you can ensure you are logging in to the correct site.
2. The KOOBFACE Worm!
This attack is pretty straight forward. A user will receive a message from what appears to be one of their friends. The message will say things like “Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street; Examiners Caught Downloading Grades From The Internet; Hello; You must see it!!! LOL. My friend caught you on hidden cam; Is it really celebrity? Funny Moments” and many others.
Included in the message will be a link to a page which appears to be a YouTube video. If you click on the video, you will be prompted to “upgrade your Flash player now” and will then be asked to download a file which contains the Koobface worm. If you download and install the file, your computer will automatically log in to Facebook and send similar messages to your friends. The best way to avoid this scam is to avoid all links that are posted on your wall or in your inbox that are out of the ordinary. Also, never download a file after clicking on a link.
3. IQ Quiz Ads
The IQ Quiz Scam has become ubiquitous on the Facebook Platform, and those users who are active on it can expect to see an advertisement for an IQ Quiz Scam at some point or another. As soon as you click on one of such ads, you’ll be brought to a site where you’re asked up to 10 questions which are relatively easy to answer. You will then be prompted to enter your phone number to view the results. Don’t enter your phone number!
If you do, you will be charged upwards of $10 a week directly to your phone bill. While most phone companies are willing to refund you for your first purchase, they won’t do it after the first occurrence. That’s because the phone companies generate billions of dollars each year off of these types of transactions.
To protect yourself from IQ quiz scams, do not enter your phone number into any sites outside of Facebook.
With this article, we’ve attempted to highlight the major scams; hackers and scammers are constantly evolving their strategies to steal passwords, and take over your accounts. The best thing to do is keep your eyes WIDE OPEN and always be weary of strange links posted to your profile or inbox as well as avoid downloading any files that you’re prompted to, no matter what. While many of the scams on Facebook are harmless to your computer, its important to protect yourself against any viruses and worms.
Be safe, Be secure, Let's take the s.h.i.t. out of these scammers!