American singer and actress Taylor Swift has lost her scam mojo, as her fake sex tape spreading on Facebook was excluded from the top ten most successful scams, according to Bitdefender. An analysis revealed the celebrity is no longer as popular as last year, when bogus videos of her managed to spread malware on the social network.
Millions of users fall for Facebook scams every year and while Taylor Swift no longer features in the top 10, Rihanna continues to be the most tempting celebrity used as a hook for malware delivery via social media.
A free trip to Disneyland was also excluded from the list, while “guess who viewed your profile” scams keep a steady first place in the panel, comprising almost one third of the total. “Change your Facebook color” schemes now circulate internationally and claim 7.38 per cent of the total number of scams.
“Why do people still want to see who has been taking a peek at their profile, despite all security warnings? I think they believe these are legitimate apps,” states Catalin Cosoi, Chief Security Strategist at Bitdefender. “This is social engineering at its finest – a challenging mental game that pushes the right psychological buttons. The baits have changed over time, with stalkers, peekers, admirers, overly attached girlfriends and exes haunting you, but the reason this scam works is simple: human nature.”
The past couple of years have seen a proliferation of Facebook scams to parallel the social networking platform’s growth. Here are the ten most widespread in a list that also shows their proportions and targeted countries.
The top 10 Facebook scams are:
1. Total profile views/visitors (Check out now who viewed your profile) – 30.20% (UK/US, Australia).
2. Change your Facebook Color/Colour – 7.38% (UK/US, Australia).
3. Rihanna sex tape with her boyfriend – 4.76% (UK/US, Australia).
4. Check my status update to get free Facebook T-shirt from Facebook – 4.21% (UK/US, Australia).
5. Say goodbye to Blue Facebook (Dites Aurevoir au Facebok BLEU) – 2.76% (France).
6. Unsealed. We are giving them away for free – 2.41% (UK/US, Australia).
7. Check if a friend has deleted you – 2.27% (UK/US, Australia).
8. See your top 10 profile peekers here! – 1.74% (UK/US, Australia).
9. Find out how to see who viewed your profile – 1.55% (Spanish-speaking countries).
10. Just changed my Facebook theme. It’s amazing – 1.50% (UK/US, Australia).
Bitdefender research also shows an increasing amount of viral video scams abusing Facebook’s like and share options. In the last year, fraudulent websites that use likejacking and YouTube have spread not only in English, but also in German, Chinese, and Italian.