Trend Micro, are a global security software company founded in California USA, have released a list of nine social media scams that users in Thailand should be aware of. Included in this list are the scams such as “Who Viewed Your Facebook Profile”, “The Facebook Colour Changer” and “Naked Videos”. These are the scams that cybercriminals use as a way of spreading malware infections to users PC’s and smartphones to steal personal data and info by attracting users to enter and click on these sites.
Users should always and constantly check the sources of the links they click on, apps in posts, and to change social media passwords regularly. Users should also use a reputable security app such as Trend Micro Dr. Safety for absolute online protection against deceptive links, Facebook privacy issues and nasty apps.
A report from the research firm Webcertain Group shows that Trend Micro added that the number of social media users in the Asia Pacific region is expected to hit 1 billion by year-end, which is almost five times the total that is in North America. Social media browsing has now become a daily routine and part of everyones life, which is also one of the most favourite attack hotspots for cybercriminals, the company says.
Terrance Tang, who is senior director of the consumer business in Asia Pacific, Trend Micro says “Social media scams are increasingly popular. They lure users to install third-party apps through social media posts or tick users to click on sites that cause malware infection. Users are advised to be very vigilant when they surf online. Always check the source of posted links and apps, change social media passwords regularly, install privacy protection apps to protect your device and personal information from prying eyes’.
These are the most common Facebook scams in Thailand as identified by Trend Micro:
1. The Facebook Colour Changer App:
This app attracts users who would like to personalise their facebook colour. However, this also leads users to other harmful sites that tricks them into sharing this app with their friends. A tutorial video is used to trick users into clicking on an ad. This then hijacks users profiles and spams the users friends. It even infects mobile devices with malware.
2. Who Viewed Your Facebook Profile App:
This Facebook scam tempts users with messages from their friends or ads that are posted on their walls which invites users to check who has been viewing their Facebook profiles. One this has been clicked on, the user’s profiles and their social network will be exposed to the scammer.
3. Facebook Videos with Alluring Titles:
Cyber Criminals often use enticing title like “Not Safe for Work” or “Outrageous” to attract users to click on the video which will then redirect them to the dodgy sites and steal their personal information. This scam can also cause malware infection to users devices, such as Rootkits which are hard to clean and get rid of.
4. Facebook Fake Naked Videos:
Facebook scams which show naked or other inappropriate videos are normally displayed as clickable posts or ads that have links to take the users to sites that host nasty Youtube videos. These fake sites then prompt the users to install an update to their ‘broken’ Adobe Flash Player. Once this is clicked on, the Flash Player installer will then infect the device by installing its malware, which is usually a Trojan, as a browser plugin. Not only does this scam steal Facebook photos, but it also invites other Facebook friends to watch the same video, thus the ruse then continues.
5. Instagram InstLike App:
Thousands of people worldwide have installed this app called InstLike where the hope it will increase the number of likes and followers on the social networking site, Instagram. However, this app takes advantage of passwords and other information that they collect from users to boost their own growth, which spreads the infection even further. Despite this virus being reported, users are still using this and are being suped by InstLike as it continues to be in business.
6. Twitter Instant Followers App:
These are apps that promise users instant Twitter followers, which usually cause users to fall victim to scammers, who them leverage user accounts for further spamming and attacks.
7. Twitter Bait Scam:
Some of these scams send messages to users such as ‘Just saw this photo of you’ which will then trick the users to click on the harmful links in the messages. The scam can then hijack the users twitter account and send their friends further spam messages, then luring them to sites which in turn steal their personal information.
8. Tumblr Dating Game:
The Tumblr Dating Game has lured many users into clicking on the links in the messages and makes them create dating accounts, which only leads them to ads or adult pages which generate revenue for the scammer.
9. Pinterest Bogus Pins:
Scammers post false pins that advertise free giveaways that lure users to false surveys or sites, which also spams their followers to further expand their attacks.