Avoid Scams

Avoiding Facebook and social media scams:

Social media like Facebook security is generally very good but we come across spam emails and messages which will easily bypass Facebook security system.

Facebook is continuously targeted by thousands of scammers.  I have listed few scam which mostly are applicable to Facebook but similar scam are seen in other social media websites as well. I have highlighted few practical tips on how to protect yourself from them.

Free stuff:

Free food passes or Free Supermarket Vouchers:

Mostly to push you to enter your email address or like a page and get a coupon or vouchers for x% off your shopping on supermarkets like Walmart, Tesco, M& S, ASDA, free Subway passes etc

Free airline tickets and holidays:

Enticed with a short video or very nice pictures of an Island ask you to put your email address to see full details or claim your free tickets. There are others asking you pay some money like 1-10$ to get you full 1-4 weeks holidays at the destination of your choice. Really…………………………..

Free iphone/ipad/galaxy tab:

These are marketing tactics to get your emails and personal details. Do not be fooled.

Free gift cards, Credits, lotteries:Free gift card

Mainly affecting gaming community but common users were affected as well. Your friend from Facebook might be telling you of his winnings and asking you to share it.

Increase return on your investment:

Sender will ask you to get huge investment on a very small investments. Usually pyramid schemes which are should be reported to police.

How do you protect yourself:

Nothing is free my friend. If you are still interested than go on respective store website and check for any offers or cashback/coupon websites

Fake profile scam:

Scammers can request a friend request from your fake profile and invite your friends who will this the invitation as a real invitation. It could be friend’s suggestions by one your friends who you may know. It is called cloning in Facebook world.

This may not compromise your account but just duplicate your features. People may start seeing friends request from your known friends. Be careful there.online Scam

Mostly people fall into this thinking one may have unfriended them somehow. Then the scammers can post on your behalf whatever they want from asking short term loan or a news of you winning a lottery and asking for your bank details to give you some money.

Recently we have seen a lot of these messages coming as that your friend is stranded in another country and need money fast to get out of there. They can be specific about food or flights etc.

How do you protect yourself::

Use privacy policy of your facebook account to protect your information as much as possible. Report it to Facebook as soon as possible. Donot accept a second request from your friends if somehow you see a request again.

Who have seen your profile:

 Very common scam of asking to fill in a form to see who has been seeing your profile? That page is usually a malicious software.

How do you protect yourself::

Do not download extra malicious software to see who is following you. Is it that important?

Foolish women/ extreme movie clips/X-rated clips/Funny videos:

The first thing they ask you is your profile access before you could watch it so that it could be shared on your behalf. That movie may be with a phishing or malicious link. That link could open a fake Facebook page which is designed to look like normal page.

Sometimes, there are fake media player plugins which you can download at the same time when you click to watch a movie clip. This could be malicious software which can compromise your computer security.

Another video is flesh eating maggots in the head, legs or arms with a honeycomb like picture or clip or see how maggots being removed and message would be the same. Sometimes it’s a worm from the eye being removed.

This page after getting your login details can direct you to some other social media page like twitter. But scammers are after your login details, have got what they were looking for.

Hence they can use your account to post scam messages to your friend to prey on more people. I come across so many people where their account has been used to send similar offers or clips to engage more people. This can lead to a chain reaction.

How do you protect yourself:

If you have come across such a page, try to search it separately in YouTube or Google before opening it. Most of time the reviews will tell you if it’s a scam or not. Never ever ignore user’s ratings.

Facebook messages:

There the message would be from Facebook asking you that some suspicious activity or a forbidden/racial comments has been uploaded from your account. They may say that following this activity, your account has been closed.

Verify your details now to avoid losing your account. This is a phishing scam.Online fraud

Add “Extra features” from Facebook is another category where people have been tricked.

Facebook security messages could be scams asking you to update new security features by going through easy steps.

 How do you protect yourself:

Phishing websites or messages could be easily picked up by checking the sender or sites address. If there no proper Facebook reference in their domain address or email address – it’s a scam.  (like facebook@abc1238.com) 

Survey scams:

Complete few steps to earn a prize or coupon. Most of the pages are fake where you are asked to click a button.  Dodgy surveys are used all the time now on Facebook to get your details.

For prizes, you will be asked to put in your personal email, phone number or address which will be passed on to third party which will lead to floods of unwanted calls and emails.

How do you protect yourself:

If it is so good to be true, it is most probably not true

Hoaxes and Rumours:

Hoaxes, rumours and misinformation are very easily spread through Facebook and quite easily shared and usually spread like wildfire in social media horizon.

News like death, accident of celebrity with pictures can be easily taken on board and spread without confirmation. Another one is a famous celebrity is giving away 10000$ for first 30 responders and ask you to put your email address to get it.

Easy catch isn’t it.

How do you protect yourself:

Instead of going through links, use main stream newspapers or channels to verify details.

Online Quizzes:

There are many soulmate quizzes on Facebook. We come across many through our friends who unknowingly pass it on.

 How do you protect yourself:

Always go for well-known sources.

Pictures clearing scams:

Like in the comments to see picture and that picture would be blurred and looks more x rated of a known personality in your area/community or a celebrity. You are asked to like it or provide your details to view it. Simple but works all the time.

How do you protect yourself:

Donot get lured into these pictures.

Religious messages:

 Where scammers would use religion to push you to like or share email address. They use emotional blackmailing for your like pages or share it. These will be pictures of religious places, graves, religious sayings.

Others could be videos or pictures of religious extremist beating a person to death. These are usually malicious videos.

 How do you protect yourself:

Only share or open messages from reputed or trusted sources.


  1. Use Facebook/social media privacy to your advantage.
  1. Do befriend people you are already friend with.
  1. Do not watch video or see pictures unless you are sure of the source or verify it by directly going to the source like YouTube.
  1. Be careful on public Wi-Fi or shared computers. 
  1. Nothing in this world is free. So be careful if you think of accepting free or discounting offers. 
  1. Keep your computer’s security up-to-date. 
  1. Install apps from only well-known developers and read reviews before downloading them. 
  1. If a friend has messages you through Facebook about winning a lottery, check with him personally. 
  1. Never ever give your details to a Stranger

10. Never ever wire/send your money to anyone you do not know personally.

Mohammad Bader

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