Top 5 scams to avoid when you're on Facebook in the Middle East

As social network usage climbs in the Middle East, here are surefire ways users cans protect themselves against top-ranking threats

Latest research suggests that there are over 28 million Facebook users throughout the Middle East, a vast majority of whom get their social media fix first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Whether browsing over a mobile phone, entertaining oneself at home or scanning through news feeds at work, for many people and organisations, it has become the primary medium for sharing ideas and interacting with friends, as well as being a key marketing tool and undoubtedly playing a critical role in social movements across the Arab world.

However, with this growing volume of traffic, the social network has inevitably becoming a hotbed for malware authors and scammers.

“By taking advantage of the users’ trust in their network of relationships, they are spreading malicious code and sending spam messages that are harmful to those unknowingly clicking on their friends pages,” said Bulent Teksoz, Chief Security Strategist, Emerging Markets, Symantec.

He added: “Furthermore, most of the attacks that we currently see use social engineering tricks to spread their messages to thousands of users.

“Besides reposting spam messages to friends, attacks can lead users to scam surveys or malicious sites that can potentially cause permanent and undoable damage.”

Norton states it is imperative now more than ever that users in the Middle East learn scams and spams to avoid on Facebook and what they can do to stop these hackers getting access to their friends, photos and personal information.

“Like-“ or “Share-Baiting”

Scammers will ask the user to Like or Share a Facebook Page to gain special privileges or content not available from Facebook or elsewhere.

After liking a page the user will then be forwarded to a survey that asks the user for personal information, where the author (or attacker) will then get a commission for every view 

 “Like” Clickjacking

These malicious pages have hidden “Like” buttons – the user will see an interesting video with a play button, but instead of the video playing, there’s a “Like” button hidden behind it.

Some pages will even ask the user to click multiple times, generating multiple
“Likes” with each click. 

Malicious Applications

The user will install a Facebook application but it will actually be malicious and take over the users page, giving the attacker the ability to post on the users wall, access the users message and chat with the users friends.

This is one of the oldest and most prevalent Facebook scams 

Copy-Paste script attacks

The user will get the promise of an interesting video or website but will need to copy and paste the information into the address bar of the browser. The self-executing scam will then post spam on the user’s behalf. 

Hoaxes

Ever see an interesting story or shocking status update?

Beware, these are generally hoaxes created to be passed around Facebook. The goal of hoaxes is to either generate traffic to a spam site or simply to troll other users.

It’s not all bad news though. Users can protect themselves by taking a proactive approach to securing their account and being cautious online.

Start cleaning up your account by simply removing g offending posts, removing offending application and changing passwords. Users can also go to www.facebook.com/hacked<http://www.facebook.com/hacked> to rescue their account if they believe it has been compromised.

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