'Profile Visitors for Facebook' Rogue App and Survey Scam
OutlineFacebook message claims that users can see who has been visiting them on Facebook by installing the 'Profile Visitors for Facebook' extension.
© Depositphotos.com/ Wavebreakmedia
Brief AnalysisThe message is a scam. Attempting to download the "extension" tricks users into participating in bogus online surveys. It also attempts to trick users into installing a rogue Facebook application that will spam their friends with more copies of the scam messages. Some variants may try to trick users into downloading malicious browser extensions. The supposed profile visitor viewer does not exist.
Profile Visitors for facebook, is a simple extension that let's you see, who visited you on Facebook! Finally know who has some interest in you!
"Everybody wants it. Now finally it is available and it's fun!"
According to a message being distributed on Facebook, users can finally get the ability to see who has been visiting their profile by installing a "simple extension" called "Profile Visitors for Facebook".
However, the message is a scam. The first page of the scam progression instructs users to "activate" the extension by clicking a button as shown in the following screenshot. The page comes complete with fake security and award badges:
Clicking the "activate" link takes users to a second page where they are invited to download the "Profile Visitors" installation file:
However, clicking the download link displays a pop-up window that claims that, in order to combat spam, users must verify themselves by completing a survey:
The survey links lead to suspect third party websites that urge people to participate in various online surveys or offers in exchange for entries into prize draws. Some require users to supply their name, address and phone numbers in order to participate. Fine print on the page states that the details submitted will be shared with other marketers who will use it to send advertising emails and letters and make promotional phone calls. Others ask users to supply their mobile phone number. But, by supplying their number, users are actually agreeing to ongoing SMS subscription services that are charged at several dollars per text message.
The people who launched this scam will be paid commissions via suspect affiliate marketing schemes each time a person participates in a survey or offer.
But, alas, no matter how many surveys users complete, they will never get to download the promised profile viewer, which never existed to begin with. Moreover, users will also be asked to install a separate Facebook application, ostensibly to allow the profile viewer to work. If users give the app permission to access their accounts, this rogue app will subsequently spam out the same scam messages to all of their friends. Some versions may point people to malicious browser extensions rather than Facebook apps.
This message is just the latest in a long series of fake "See who viewed your profile" scams that have plagued Facebook for several years. Some are rogue app/survey scams like the example discussed here. Others are phishing scams designed to trick users into divulging their login details to criminals. Still others are attempts to trick Facebook users into relinquishing control of their Facebook accounts to Internet scammers by submitting their Facebook authentication token.
Any message that claims that you can see who has been visiting your Facebook profile should be treated with suspicion. No such functionality exists.
Last updated: January 14, 2014
First published: January 14, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen