How to Avoid online Scams on Facebook?

With seven hundred million plus users all over the globe, Facebook is a perfect podium for scam artists. For a scammer, it requires little research on your interest, one simple friend request and once you add them in your friend list, the further process of phishing and scamming runs smoothly.

This mega program runs through ‘Social Engineering’, which means understanding common user habit along with behavior and make best use of those to design eye-catching headlines. A simple click on them can redirect you safely to unsafe scam page. There you might be asked to input your login details and personal credentials, which are misused afterwards.

To get rid of such scams, one needs to have some basic understanding on how these scams happen and what precautions are needed for not letting them to happen. So, let’s start with the first one; try to get knowledge of some common scams.

Few Trending Scams

Nobody wishes to get hacked. Needless to say, victims pose ignorance on this subject matter. Therefore, knowledge on “how these scams happen” is the biggest shield to protect your account. Let’s discuss some common ways that are used by these big daddies to hack your account;

Breaking News

Social engineering helps them creating potential breaking news headlines and prompts users to click on them. These malicious links may not fetch you with news that you wish for, instead will redirect you to the page of their interest. Upon trying to access, you might be asked for personal details.

Juicy Celebrity Gossip

Who doesn’t want to hear rumors about their favorite stars? Scammers use this as a weapon. They design a video icon and title them with a shocking punch line that users find hard to resist. On click, another page similar to Facebook appears, asks for personal details and will force to share the link before watching. But to the contrary, the same never happens after sharing the link.

Fake promise on behalf of Facebook

Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook does not provide you information on the number of people who viewed your profiles and the frequency of view by any particular person. It also does not let you know about the person who has blocked you from viewing his/her profile. Any fake promises on the name of Facebook through any application therefore is a loop hole.

Hidden Fee for Apps

Paid applications are displayed clearly with price. If not, they are treated as free apps. However, if you experience any divergence like, need of sharing your credit information or personal details for successful installation of any application, then definitely that is a scam. Refrain yourself from proceeding further otherwise, you will end up with getting your account hacked.

Suddenly ask for Help

“Help me out! I am stuck in New York airport, need money”, getting such message from your beloved friend can prompt you to fall into scammer’s pray. They may hack your friend’s account to do so. Once you respond, they will share account details to forward money. In this case, physically talk to your friend via a voice chat or a video call to get confirmed.

Free Gift Cards

People can go blind when offered with free gift cards or some freebies. Scammers take a good opportunity of this weak links and flood the Facebook page with a number of such fake ads. Those who have less knowledge on scams get trapped easily and enjoy the rest of the show of scam artist thereafter.

Till now we have discussed some common ways of getting hacked. Now let’s get some ideas on how to not get hacked further.

Effective ways of preventing Scams

Scan the redirected page − The moment you get redirected from Facebook, scan the URL of the redirected page. If you smell the rat, immediately make your exit from that page. Even if you can’t judge it from the URL, look for its content. Are they relevant? Spelling and grammar errors are also very common on such pages. Hunt for these symptoms and if you notice any such, make a quick exit.

Run a pre-research before installing unknown apps − Before adding any application to your Facebook application family, take some momentary pain of running a quick research on google regarding the authenticity of that application. Nowadays, you can get instant user reviews about these scams on many forums or blogs. After all “prevention is better than cure”. Isn’t it?

ur Facebook application family, take some momentary pain of running a quick research on google regarding the authenticity of that application. Nowadays, you can get instant user reviews about these scams on many forums or blogs. After all “prevention is better than cure”. Isn’t it?

Remove suspicious applications − If you realize that post installing any application on Facebook, you are facing abnormalities, immediately revoke the permission of that app to access any personal details of yours further. To do so, go the “Account” section at the right top corner and click “Application setting” followed by “Authorized”. Number of apps will appear with “X” button. In the subsequent pop-up select “Remove” and hit “Okay” button.

Stay protected with Facebook Security − Facebook has come up with a secured security system to protect its users from scams. It has partnered with other web tools to enhance its detecting power for scammers. Through “Web of Trust” you will be now more secure while browsing external site from Facebook and can get rid of scammers doing Clickjacking (act of tricking people to click on links that they might not want to). If you search “Facebook security” page, you can get to know about these in more detail.

Don’t give access to friend list − If any application on installation, asks your permission to access your friend list details, think twice before hitting “okay” or “allow” button. Generally, they give a long list of permission access so that user will not bother to read and will make decision instantly. Make a wise habit of not installing any such application.

Do not carry away by sensational posts − Scammers use physiological methods to create sensational headlines such as “OMG! I earned 50$ in just 5 minutes”, “You can’t believe what this women has done”, “Get flat tummy in just 3 days” etc. Exercise a suitable amount of caution before you hover over your mouse to click on these toxic links.

Scammers constantly try and find new ways to hoodwink people into clicking on malevolent links. Needless to say, they will be more cautious and careful before playing tricks next time. They may come up with some new and innovative ways to get their job done. It’s up to you that how far you can stay vigilant while browsing on Facebook.

Showing a bit of resistance before installing any app is a best policy. Also, do carry a common sense while browsing to avoid any such future mishaps. Keeping these simple yet effective steps in mind while net browsing will keep your personal details private and protected.

karthikeya Boyini
karthikeya Boyini

I love programming (: That's all I know