The Most Common Social Media Scams One Needs to be Aware of

November 3, 2014 | By Editor 


A recent study has revealed the most common social media scams in which hackers leverage to spread malware to PCs and mobiles or steal personal data by luring users to click on phishing websites.

Social Media Scams

Common Social Media Scams

According to Webcertain Group, the number of social media users in Asia-Pacific region is expected to reach 1 billion by the end of 2014, almost five times the total in North America.The UK-based research company also reported that while social media browsing is becoming a everyday routine for everyone, it is also one of the most relished attack spots for hackers.

The more users, the higher the scams. Social media scams are becoming increasingly popular though the sites are SSL Encrypted. Hackers lure unsuspecting users to install malicious third-party software via social media posts or trick users to click on phishing websites that cause viral infection.

Some of the ways to avoid such scams include:

  • Users should be always vigilant when they browse the Internet.
  • Make sure to check the source of the posted apps and links.
  • Change social media account passwords once in every months.
  • If holding different social media accounts and/or multiple accounts for the same social media site, have different passwords for each account.
  • Install applications that provide privacy protection to safeguard your device and personal details.

The following are some of the most popular social media scams.

The Tumblr Dating Game App:

  • Hackers use the Tumblr dating game app as a bait to lure users to click on links in its messages.
  • As a result, enticed users created online dating accounts that only lead them to adult or advertisement pages generating profits for the hacker.

The Facebook Color Changed App:

  • This FB application allows users to customize their Facebook color and accounts for 7 percent of the scams.
  • But hackers also use this app to lead users to scamming websites and trick them to share the application with their friends.
  • With the help of a tutorial video that helps in tricking users to click on an ad link, the app hacks user’s profile and spam the friends of the user.
  • The app even infects mobiles with virus.

The Instagram InstLike App:

  • It is natural for anyone to wish to have as many as like and followers. With the Instagram InstLike app, million of users hoped to bolster their Instagram followers and likes.
  • Unfortunately, hackers took advantage of this app to collect passwords and other sensitive information from users for their personal agenda.
  • Unsuspecting users continue to use the InstLike app, despite the numerous complaints.

The Twitter Bait Scam:

  • Some hackers send scam messages to lure users into clicking the phishing links in the messages.
  • The scam hacks Twitter accounts of users and sends spam messages to their friends, tricking them to bogus websites that compromise personal data.

The Facebook Fake Friend Request App:

  • Not all friend requests on FB come from real people, despite the social networking site’s efforts to protect from bots.
  • Some FB accounts are created just to establish broad connections for siphoning personal information from users or spamming.

Who Viewed Your FB Profile App:

  • This app accounts for 2 percent of the scams.
  • Hackers use this app to lure users with ads posted on their walls or messages from friends , inviting users to check who visited their profile page.
  • Once the the ad or message link is clicked, users’ profiles will be exposed to the hackers.

The Koobface Worm:

  • The Koobface Worm, discovered in 2008, though scrubbed from Facebook, is still a menace. The tech titan still warns its users to look out for it
  • The worm spreads across social media sites via messages containing a link that claims to be an Adobe Flash Player update.
  • Once the link is clicked on, it infects the user’s FB profile and spams all the user’s friends. This worm predominantly affects Windows users.

The Pinterest Bogus Pins:

  • Hackers post fake pins advertising free goodies for users to lure them to phishing websites or bogus surveys.
  • The user’s followers are also spammed. This scam accounts a 3 percent of all spams.

The Rogue Apps of Facebook:

  • Malicious apps are a common on social networking sites especially on Facebook. These rogue apps are used for infecting malware, phishing, money transfer, or clickjacking.
  • Often, these apps look legitimate that users take it for real and click “Allow” option, as they would do for any normal FB app.
  • However, these rogue apps use the permission to spread infection via the user’s friends network.
  • For example, the recent “Facebook Shutdown” scam claimed FB would be deleting all inactive accounts except those that are confirmed through app installation.


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