Empty promises of Rihanna sex tape take second place
Sydney Australia, 17 April, 2013 – Almost a quarter of scams on Facebook offer users a bogus method to see who has viewed their profile, according to a study by antivirus software creator Bitdefender.
Based on six months of research, the study also showed a firm desire among users to see Rihanna sex tapes. Used in almost one in five Facebook scams, this empty promise tricks users into giving away private data and installing malware.
“Scammers have a keen interest in piquing users’ curiosity and they feel no compunction about outright lying,” said Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoi. “A curious click can cost the user dearly in terms of privacy invasions or worse. The frequency of certain themes in social media scams can teach us how to avoid scams. It can also offer us a glimpse into the hidden desires of many Facebook users.”
The Bitdefender study showed Rihanna and Taylor Swift were the celebrity names most used by scammers in the last half year. Over 17 per cent of all social media scams analysed by Bitdefender lured users to click on dubious links with a promise of sex videos with Umbrella’s singer.
Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Chris Brown were the next most-abused celebrity names used by scammers. Most recently, American wrestler John Cena was used in a hoax claiming he died of head injuries during a practice stunt.
English and Spanish speaking Facebook users are likely to fall for scams promising to show them potential stalkers and ex-lovers checking their profile, according to the Bitdefender research.
The French are most interested in changing the social network’s design. More than 10,000 French speakers were infected with the scam that claimed it would make their timeline more colorful. Over 4 per cent of all scams circulating in the last six months had the “Dites au revoir au Facebook bleu” hook.
Though users still fall for these threats, the Facebook security team has made a lot of improvements to reduce the complexity and number of scams. In several countries, Bitdefender has noticed a drop of fraudulent and malicious links spreading on the social network.
Top 10 Facebook Scams:
1. Total profile viewers (see who has viewed your profile) – 23,86%
2. Rihanna sex tape – 17,09%
3. Encontre la forma de ver quien ve mi perfil – 5,31%
4. Check if a friend has deleted you – 5,18%
5. Dites au revoir au Facebook bleu – 4,16%
6. Taylor Swift sex tape – 3,76%
7. “Free” Disneyland tickets – 2,55%
8. Enable your dislike button here – 2,15%
9. I can actually see who is spying – 1,67%
10. Estou tirando onda de facebook coloridao! – 1,64%
Other – 32,53%