The Biggest Facebook Scams Of 2014 Targeted Curious Perverts

Millions of internet users fell for Facebook scams in 2014, leading to the loss of money, reputation and even jobs after simply clicking on the wrong social media link. The most dangerous scams users fell for, according to cyber security firm Bitdefender, were those that played upon the natural curiosity and emotions of humans.

A scam dubbed ‘guess who viewed your profile’ which started circulating in February on social networking site Facebook was the most popular, or rather, widely disseminated scam.

Cyber-crooks

The scam promised users the ability to see who viewed their profile. Cyber-crooks typically claimed the social network had released an “official” app that reveals stalkers, ex-lovers, peekers and profile viewers. In February, a new ‘Profile Viewers’ add-on dropped Trojan.JS.Carfekab.A to spy in victims’ browsers. Carfekab was also capable of posting messages on users’ behalf and sending their personal data to the attackers’ servers, according to Bitdefender Labs.

“I think users believe that these are legitimate apps. This is social engineering at its most dangerous – a challenging mental game that pushes the right psychological buttons,” stated Catalin Cosoi, Chief Security Strategist at Bitdefender.

“The baits have changed over time, stalkers, peekers, admirers, overly attached girlfriends and exes haunting you, but the reason this scam works is simple: human nature.”

The second most circulated scam was also one which played upon human emotion.

‘Naked videos of Facebook friends’ debuted with a malicious campaign that tricked more than 1,000 people into installing a Trojan that promised naked videos of their friends.

According to Bitdefender Labs, the countries with the most detected infections were the UK, Italy, France Germany and Romania. The malware was detected by Bitdefender as Trojan.FakeFlash.A.

Though security experts, companies and tech-savvy users guard against Facebook cyber-attacks, many unwary users continue to fall victim to scams on the social network every day, with veteran users still falling for the same old e-threats.

Bitdefender advises users to be cautious of future Facebook scams and keep their operating system, antivirus solution and other software updated. Users should also avoid completing Facebook surveys, sharing or “liking” websites to view a video, or installing updates via viral videos.

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Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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