Antivirus company Bitdefender launched a massive study of 850,000 Facebook scams over the course of two years to determine any common patterns and trends. The results are not encouraging; the company found that Facebook users are falling prey to the same scams again and again, only dressed up in slightly different variations.
According to Bitdefender, the five most common scams are ones that rely on the psychological makeup of Facebook’s interface, and a confusion on the user’s part between what is actually Facebook and what is an imposter. The researchers behind the white paper broke down Facebook cons into five major categories:
- Guess who viewed your profile
- Change your Facebook functionality in some way
- Fake giveaways
- Celebrity-related scams
- Graphic videos
Somewhat surprisingly, the “guess who viewed your profile” scam was by far the most commonly-observed hoax by the researchers, accounting for 45.5 percent of scams. The second-most, changing Facebook’s functionality, was at 29.53 percent.
These common scams also take advantage not only of user obsessions on the site, but on Facebook’s own confusing rules. With how often Facebook updates its terms and features, it’s no wonder many users think they suddenly have the option of changing their profile’s color or seeing who viewed their profile.
For our own list of Facebook scam fighting resources, be sure to visit our Safety Center and the links below: