First of all it’s important to say that anyone can become a victim to a Facebook scam as these scammers always know the right psychological triggers to get people to click, the best rule to live by is if you’re unsure don’t click and search for it instead.
This list started at 10, it’s now risen!
1) Pay to use Facebook / copying the ‘I do not give Facebook permission message’
This originally started back in 2012 but comes back every few months, it’s complete bullsh*t and even Facebook have confirmed there is no current chance of charging users.
2) The ‘share this post to win’ scam (extremely common)
Often done by small pages to increase page likes, they’re against Facebook’s Terms & Conditions, any page asking you to share a post to gain entry to a competition is a scam or a naive page owner about to get their page shut down. These scammers often then sell it on the black market (yes really) to someone who wants to monetise it. Change the name to some bullsh*t like ‘People that love gadgets’ and sell for £300.
Pages appearing to be legit companies such as Virgin, Disney etc all giving away amazing prizes… but actually when you look at their page they have one photo from XXhrs ago and no other content, yet thousands of people comment, like & share the posts! ARGH!!!
Read more the ‘Fake Page Scam’
4) ‘OMG you will never <insert recent news tragedy> ever again after you watch this shocking video’ scams
Will link you through to a page where you have to complete a survey (normally), then force you to share the page to see ‘the video’ these surveys generate the person money and/or pop up adverts on top/underneath
5) ‘Customise your profile’s look’ scam
There is no official way to change your profile layout, presumably because Facebook doesn’t want to become MySpace. End of.
6) ‘Guess who viewed your profile’ / ‘guess who has unfriended you’ scams
Facebook have said on multiple occasions “There is no way for any app to show you who visits your profile. Any link or download that says differently is either a prank or a virus.”
Even ‘legit’ websites/apps that did offer to see who have unfriended you were soon shut down by Facebook so again this proves don’t trust anyone.
7) ‘We can’t sell these <insert stupidly expensive product name> so we have to give them away’ scam
I mean really? Do people really believe this crap? Are Apple really going to giveaway anything for free?
8) The ‘see this celebrity do something sexual’ / ‘sex tape’ scam
Very similar to the news tragedy scam however thankfully becoming less and less common, mainly due to people previously falling for the scam or knowing about a mate that has. Clicking a dodgy link forcing you to share a page / click some adverts / complete a survey before seeing the ‘video’. Actually no video exists or for some reason the video doesn’t load. Often these scams would auto-post to your Facebook once clicked which obviously speeds up the virality of a link.
9) The ‘supermarket voucher giveaway with x amount of vouchers remaining’ quiz scam
More common a few years back but due to their popularity most people have either been scammed by them or seen their friends scammed by them. Very simply a page asked you to answer 6 questions with either true or false, however to ensure you didn’t cheat & so they could supposedly deliver your vouchers they asked for your mobile phone number, the questions were sent to your mobile, in just one example over 89,000 people in the UK did it and replied to each question ‘true’ or ‘false’.
Each text received cost the user £5. Supposedly some of the scammers got fined (around £300,000) by the people who regulate the premium rate numbers in the UK however even if the scammers only scammed each one of those people once they would still have walk away with a profit! Some people could have lost £30 each giving the scammers a potential of £2.6M in max revenue!
10) The ‘product tester needed’ scam
No website is going to get YOU to test an iPhone (or any other high ticket price) & let you keep it.
Slight exception and still extremely questionable on their legitimacy is a certain website that will remain anonymous (because we don’t want to get sued) but it ends ‘.uk.com’ and often gets shared by new ‘money saving’ pages that are desperate for cash (the site pays well for a simple sign up). Technically this anonymous site does giveaway products to test HOWEVER they also spend tens of thousands of pounds (the numbers are crazy) on marketing each ‘test’, they pull in so many people that believe they’ve got a good chance of testing (in fact often they’re even told they have been accepted).
11) The ‘Facebook Page Security / verified check’ or the random message from someone with a link scam
Often targeted at Page owners / Group Administrators, they send you a message with a link for you to confirm your identity to get one of those verified page ticks (also happens on Twitter), but at the same time you also end up sharing your Facebook password with the scammers and within minutes they’ve transferred ownership of your group, page etc to them.
Along with other scams targeted at non page owners, where they simply message you a link to one of the various scams above.
12) The ‘Bargain Ray-ban’ scam
A friend/or a random person will tag you in a post, it leads you to a website that looks like the legit Ray-ban website, the deals are like 60-90% off RRP. You either get your card cloned or get a pair of sunglasses that are worth about £2 in the post. The website gets deleted and no chance of a refund. Avoid anywhere other than legit/safe places to buy designer products from.
12) The eat unlimited food loyalty card (KFC / McDonalds / Nandos all spotted)
An obvious scam but clicking the link will send you to a dodgy website full of viruses, a website that steals your information and resells etc.
13) The Fake Event
Normally targeting new students / freshers these events spring up every few weeks. An obvious sign is that they’re all around Freshers’ week and they have 40-100 events across the country.
No single event company would EVER do this, even the likes of Redbull only ever do 5-10 events and they’re spread over months and not days!
How to avoid these sort of scams:
- Use your brain – seems lots of people forget this
- On mobile don’t click any links you don’t want your family/boss to see just in case it auto-shares, on a computer hover your mouse over a link to see the destination. If you want to check it out copy that link and open in another browser (one that you’re not logged into any social media). Be careful of ANY link that is shared regarding recent news unless the link is to a trusted source. Failing that just search the title of the video online.
- Never give out your mobile phone number unless they’re trusted (we use alias/secondary)
- Use alias emails for any website you’re unsure about, if they sell your email on just block that email
- If it’s too good to be true ‘Google it’, use Hoax Slayer or send us a message