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How to Avoid Scams on Facebook

written by: •edited by: Aaron R.•updated: 7/6/2011

A look into some of the common scams to avoid on Facebook and how to recognize one before you click yourself into trouble.

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    Facebook Viruses

    The term 'Facebook virus' is kind of generic in describing all of the hassles you might run across on Facebook. You are more likely to get duped into installing malware and/or adware of some kind, although the effects are no less annoying. As you use Facebook more and gain more friends, you increase your chances of eventually clicking on something you should not. In this article, we'll look into the most common tricks employed on the site and how to be safe on Facebook.

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    Likejacking - Beware of the Like Button

    Beware of Redirects from Likejacking Scams on Facebook This is one I see all the time and it's really annoying. You get on Facebook and see that one of your friends has 'Liked' an interesting topic. It may be something about a photo or a video and the title is always intriguing. Since your friend liked it, you decide to click on the link and it takes you to a page that forces you to also click the Like button before it shows you anything. After that, it takes you to another page that wants you to send messages to all your friends to also check out the page.

    Most of the time, you never get to see what the title suggests, but you may have fallen for spamming all your friends. Sometimes you wind up being redirected away from Facebook.com and sent to another site, and that's where it gets dangerous. If you aren't paying attention, you might wind up installing malware or viruses you don't want because a popup window with an OK button says you must agree to something to see whatever the topic suggested. You could also be prompted with a fake Facebook login that amounts to a phishing attempt.

    If you run across anything that requires you to click the Like button before it shows you anything, don't do it. The subjects will always be tempting and peak your curiosity, and that's how they get you. Tell your friends to quit clicking on that stuff, too.

    Image Credit - Attribution Free

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    Facebook Scam Groups

    Be really careful of Facebook groups that promise new features like chat rooms or the ability to see who is viewing your profile. These are often listed under individual groups and aren't found through any official capacity within Facebook. What these groups try to do is trick you into installing software under the guise of it being some new Facebook feature. Unfortunately, it often turns out to just be malware. Also be very careful when playing games on Facebook, and don't agree to install anything. The games on there should run in either Flash or Java and not require any additional installation.

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    Change Your Facebook Password

    If you think you might have been tricked into submitting any information to one of these scams, especially in a phishing attempt, the first thing you should do is change your Facebook password. If you use the same password for the email account you have associated with Facebook, you'd better change that one as well. Better safe than sorry.

    Be sure to read my article on how to spot a Facebook phishing scam when it comes to your personal email.