I’m increasingly being asked by folks on Facebook if it’s possible to tell who has been viewing their Facebook profile. A number have been attracted to webpages and Facebook applications that claim to be able to give you a secret insight into who is spying on your profile.
Well, if you’re one of those people who are curious about who might be watching you online, take care.
Right now we’re seeing a significant number of Facebook users posting messages such as:
OMG OMG OMG... I can't believe this actually works! Now you really can see who views your profile!!! WOAH
See who views your Facebook profile in real-time!!!
However, like the “Justin Bieber cell phone number” scam and the “This mother went to jail for taking this pic of her son!” scam, the links pointed to in your friends’ status updates are not to be trusted.
If you make the mistake of clicking on the link to one of these pages offering to tell you who is viewing your Facebook profile, you will find that the people behind the “services” want you to do a few things first.
For instance, they’ll ask you to “Like” their pages (which means you are spreading the link to friends in your social network), and they will ask you to advertise their site by posting an “OMG” message (with a link) to at least five different places on Facebook.
After all that hard work you would hope that they would give you access to the powerful Profile Spy app wouldn’t you? But I’m afraid your luck is out.
They’ll next ask you to hand over your personal information by taking numerous surveys – before ultimately trying to trick you into handing over your cellphone number which they’ll sign up to an expensive premium rate service.
Remember, this scam doesn’t work as the result of clickjacking, or a vulnerability on Facebook. The scammers are achieving their ends because of human gullibility – pure and simple. If people considered what they were doing and thought twice about the possible consequences then we would see nothing like as many of these attacks occurring, and our news feeds on Facebook would see less spam.
Do your bit for the public good and share this page on Facebook to warn your online friends about scams like this. Press the button at the side to share this article if you’re a Facebook user.
Interestingly, the pages that this particular scam points you to aren’t on Facebook, but still display a fake Facebook header at the top. You will notice if you visit them that although the top menu options are there, they cannot be clicked on – which clearly makes the pages look even more suspect.
Ultimately you have to have your wits about you to avoid scams like this. If you or your friends keep falling for these sort of confidence tricks, or want to learn more about security threats, don’t forget you can join the Sophos page on Facebook.
You could also do a lot worse than check out our best practices for better privacy and security on Facebook guide.