Thousands fall victim to Facebook profile scam

29 Nov 2010

I have to admit that I really don't care who has looked at my Facebook profile. If I didn't want people to see it I would nuke my Facebook account. If anyone who does take a look is so impressed by my boyish good looks and the eloquent charm of my update postings, then they can request to become my friend and I can merrily ignore them.

There are, in all honesty, many other things which take priority when it comes to worrying Mr Winder: when will the central-heating boiler start working again, how much snow is going to fall today and what will my nose look like by the end of the week after surgeons have finished operating on my face, for example. Yet, for tens of thousands of Facebook users the question has obviously been weighing heavy on their minds. At least that is the only explanation I can think of to explain why a rogue Facebook app is running riot right now.

"OMG, OMG, OMG! Now you can see who viewed your Facebook profile" the scam message doing the rounds suggests, and a click on the link allows you to download an app to reveal all.

Apart from the small fact that it does nothing of the sort, of course. Indeed, click the link and you will end up on a Facebook clone page where you will be forced to jump through many hoops of the 'I like this page and will tell all my friends' variety before being able to download the rogue application.

If having to 'like' something you have yet to actually download and use doesn't ring alarm bells then there is obviously something seriously wrong with your common sense functionality. Mind you, that's something of a given if you have arrived at the page after responding to a message which starts with 'OMG, OMG, OMG!'.

So, the ePrivacy, or Profile Watcher V2.1, or ProfileSpy app (it comes in many flavours) will not let you see who has viewed your Facebook profile, and for very good reason: that functionality doesn't exist on Facebook at the moment. The official Facebook comment being "No, Facebook does not provide the ability to track who is viewing your profile, or parts of your profile, such as your photos. Applications by outside developers cannot provide this functionality, either. Applications that claim to give you this ability will be removed from Facebook for violating policy".

What the app will do is enable those behind it to access your profile (so I guess you could say that you know one person who has done so) and spread the OMG link message via your wall. Indeed, you will need to allow it access to your profile, your friends, your wall and your data in order to download it.

If you've been caught already by this one, then you can delete the app by checking out the 'applications and websites' bit of your privacy settings. Better change your password while you're at it, just in case.

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