Top 5 Facebook scams: "Guess who viewed your profile" tops list

More than 850,000 scams have been implemented on Facebook over the last two years, claims internet security company Bitdefender.

Most common are those that encourage users to find out who viewed their profile by clicking on a link, accounting for nearly half of all the scams on the site.

This threat is popular because it takes advantage of peoples' curiosity, encouraging them to find out more, despite there not being any legitimate services that gather this data.

Users tempted to click on a link that promises to give you more functionality on a social platform, such as a dislike button or options to make your timeline look more attractive, are warned to be wary. These types of scams account for around 30 per cent of those carried out on Facebook.

The next most popular campaign were those for fake giveaways, such as tickets to sold-out shows or trips. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. However, 16.5 per cent of Facebook users failed to follow their instincts and fell for such offers.

Promised access to celebrity sex tapes also proved popular, with 7.5 per cent of the people surveyed clicking on links to satisfy their curiosity.

Although the recent celeb sex photo leak demonstrated the thirst for an insight into celebrity lives, Bitdefender said the click rate was much lower because once social networkers had fallen for the scam once, they were unlikely to do it again.

The final scam, which accounts for around one per cent of those highlighted in the report, encourages users to click on a link to view a bad-taste video.

Bitdefender said in the report: "In the attempt of creating a profile of the most gullible victims, Bitdefender's behavior analysts discovered there is such a wide range of users falling for Facebook scams, that an exact profiling would be too restrictive.

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

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.