Would you like to know just how many people have visited your Facebook page this week, or to be notified when a friend deletes you? How about changing that boring Facebook blue color of your profile — would you be interested in that?
Of course you want these things. That’s why links to many of the top 10 Facebook scams, shown as article links right in your News Feed, read just like the above.
The digital security company Bitdefender compiled a list of the 10 most common scams on Facebook and shared it with The Guardian. The scams are mostly meta-Facebook clickbait, promising you cool (and fake) services on Facebook, for Facebook.
A couple of notable variations also appear in the roundup: one for a Rihanna sex tape (which doesn’t exist), and another for what could be mistaken as free electronics, labeled “Unsealed. We are giving them away for free.”
Bitdefender says that clicking on these links will typically lead Facebookers to external websites where they’ll be asked to download and install nefarious programs. These programs are often viruses or other forms of malware in disguise that could potentially harm your system or, worse, hijack your private information. You do not want to click on any of these links, or download any of these programs, no matter what Facebook goodies they promise.
Ranked by the percentage of “fake link clicks” each scam has accounted for in the past year, you can view the full top 10 below:
1. Total profile views/visitors (30.20 percent)
The scam: An app or software that lets you see either how many views your Facebook profile has received or who has been visiting your profile. This capability does not exist.
2. Change your Facebook Color/Colour (7.38 percent)
The scam: Facebook isn’t MySpace: You can’t change its main colors.
3. Rihanna sex tape with her boyfriend (4.76 percent)
The scam:There is no Rihanna sex tape, nor a Rihanna sex DVD, nor a Rihanna MP4 video.
4. Check my status update to get free Facebook T-shirt (4.21 percent)
The scam:Free T-shirts, especially those shot via cannon, are awesome. Unfortunately, you probably won’t get one via Facebook.
5. Say goodbye to Blue Facebook (2.76 percent)
The scam:Again, you are not going to change the hues of your ’Book.
6. Unsealed. We are giving them away for free (2.41 percent)
The scam:Be very wary of any giveaways for free electronics (iPhones, iPads, Beats headphones, and so on) on Facebook. These are generally scams.
7. Check if a friend has deleted you (2.27 percent)
The scam:There are extensions and websites that can help you find out who has deleted you on Facebook. But you should probably get that recommendation from a trusted website, and not an easily hacked Facebook friend’s page.
8. See your top 10 profile peekers here! (1.74 percent)
The scam:You can’t see who’s been looking at your page. This one is always a scam.
9. Find out how to see who viewed your profile (1.55 percent)
The scam:I’ll tell you again: You can’t.
10. Just changed my Facebook theme. It’s amazing (1.50 percent)
The scam:Do people really hate Facebook’s colors or something? Anyway, still impossible.
By pointing out these bogus, harmful links, Bitdefender is doing a good service for the public. (Though the company is also plugging a Facebook app of its own that will alert you of scams in real time.) With it, you won’t have to wait for next year’s top 10 list to see if that dubious thing you clicked on that one time was legit or not.
And, of course, if you wish to brave the world of Facebook without Bitdefender’s app, and you do spot in your News Feed any of the links in the above list (or something strikingly similar), just remember: We all love Rihanna, but that’s no reason to click.
Have questions, comments, or just want to tell me something funny? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.