A new scam is spreading rapidly across Facebook, using rogue applications to post spam messages onto users’ profiles claiming to be a way of discovering the total number of times your Facebook profile has been viewed.
The following YouTube video explains more:
Tens of thousands of users have been tricked into clicking on the messages.
My total facebook views are: XXXX
Find out your total profile views [LINK]
The number of “views” shown each time changes, and there are a number of different links being used, but all of them point to rogue applications which trick you into allowing them to access your Facebook page and profile:
And as soon as you click on “allow”, the scammers have you by the short-and-curlies. Behind the scenes, they are already posting messages which can be seen by your Facebook friends.
Plenty of people may want to know how many times their Facebook profile has been viewed (some may regard it as a badge of honour, rather like collecting followers on Twitter, or connections on LinkedIn) but this application is making the number up.
How do I know? Well, the test account I used to research this particular rogue application is friends with no-one, and isn’t found in a Facebook search. I hardly think that it’s true that it’s been viewed over 3645 times..
But, of course, if your friends see “you” posting a message like that on Facebook they may well be tempted to find out their score for veiwers themselves, and click on the link and approve the application. And thus the rogue application spreads virally across Facebook.
So, what’s the intention of all this? Well, if you do allow the rogue app to access your profile and post to your Facebook page then you’ll next be taken to the webpage which claims it will calculate the number of people who have viewed your profile.
But first, they want you to complete a survey.
The scammers make money every time one of these surveys is completed. They’re simply using the draw of a mythical Facebook view count to lure in the unwary and get as many people as possible to click on their links and take their surveys.
If you’ve been affected by this scam, you should clean up your account before any further damage is done.
I’ve made a YouTube video where I show you how to clean-up your Facebook account if you were hit by this, or similar scams on Facebook:
(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)
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You could also do a lot worse than check out our best practices for better privacy and security on Facebook guide.