View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Cybersecurity
November 6, 2014

Beware Facebook’s 850,000 scams

Scams unearthed by Bitdefender include false giveaways, celebrity news exploitation and profile tracking.

By Jimmy Nicholls

A Facebook study by the security company Bitdefender has unearthed 850,000 scams running on the social network, dividing into five distinct trends.

Almost half of the scams pretended to allow users to track their profile views, an offer the company said was popular among people wishing to see if former lovers were keeping tabs on them.

"The biggest vulnerabilities appear because of general human dispositions that may hit any user at one point in his life," the report said.

"Of course, it is hard to acknowledge, even towards ourselves, that we may have irrational behaviours or that we are blindly indulging in impulses we typically attribute to the less educated or the less informed."

Nearly a third of the scams offered extra functionality such as colour changes or adding new "dislike" or "love" buttons. Other trends identified included false giveaways accounting for 16.5% of all scams, celebrity news exploitation which accounted for 7.5%, and atrocity video exploitation which made up less than 1%.

While Bitdefender did try to create a profile of the most likely victims, they discovered that the range of people falling for the scams was too wide for the exercise to be useful.

"Anyone could fall victim to a Facebook scam at one point in his life, as cyber-criminals always pull the right psychological triggers," the report added.

Content from our partners
Rethinking cloud: challenging assumptions, learning lessons
DTX Manchester welcomes leading tech talent from across the region and beyond
The hidden complexities of deploying AI in your business

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU