Facebook Pageview Scam -- Did You Fall for It?

Lindsay Mannering

FacebookIt's going around faster than mono freshman year of college, and getting caught with it may be just as defining. That sneaky Facebook link, promising to reveal how many profile views you've gotten, is tempting you with its sweet, sweet, insider-info.

You've seen the stats on your friends' profiles and have thought, "Huh. Wonder how many people have looked at my page" and then coyly flirted with the idea of clicking on that little link. It'd be kinda cool to see how many male visitors you've gotten versus female, or what your total profile-views were yesterday versus today. Just a little data, nothing serious -- it's got to be totally harmless, right?

Well, depends on how you look at it.

The link generally looks something like:

Jane Doe

My total Facebook views are: 1,210

Find out your total profile views on: http://bit.ly/dTT2Up

The link takes you to a survey, promising your specific profile data in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Take the survey, find out the results, and have your confidence either boosted or destroyed within seconds.

Not so fast. It's a total scam. Actually, it's total spam. The survey gives the spammer access to your computer, which is potentially dangerous, and exposes some of your personal info, putting you at risk for even more spam in the future.

And the numbers? Totally made up. Did you really think that over a thousand people have looked at your profile, when you only have 250 friends? You did, didn't you. That's sweet.

What does it say about those Facebook users who've used this spammy link? Someone feeling a little insecure, are we? Or perhaps boastful, thinking we're sure to have some large numbers to share with everyone else. Or maybe we're just not the sharpest tool in the social-media shed. I mean, this isn't the first time there's been a duplicitous Facebook link.

What does it mean to you if someone fell for the "pageview promise"?

Photo via Spence E Holtaway/Flickr

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