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Facebook Scam – ‘I Can’t Believe the People I Caught Looking At My Profile’

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Facebook post claims that you can see who viewed your Facebook Profile by clicking to install a Facebook app called ‘Profile Spy’.


Brief Analysis:
The post is a scam designed to trick you into installing a rogue Facebook app and divulging your personal information via dodgy survey websites. There is no legitimate Facebook app that allows you to see who has been viewing your Facebook profile.

Example:
wow check this out i cant believe the people i caught looking at my profile LOL [92gbhIThBoiLLFBRELgP]Profile Spy Scam Message



Detailed Analysis:
According to this Facebook post, you can get the names of people who have viewed your Facebook Profile by installing an app called ‘Profile Spy’. The post exhorts you to hurry before the tool is patched and suggests that you won’t believe the people you catch looking at your profile.

However, the post is a scam. If you click through and install the ‘Profile Spy’ app, it will access information from your profile and automatically post the scam message shown above on your behalf. Thus, your Facebook friends may click the post in turn because it will seem to them that you have recommended the ‘Profile Spy’ app.

After you have installed the app, you will be taken to a webpage that appears to display a list of people that are currently watching your profile. However, the list will be blurred so that you cannot read any of the names of these supposed profile stalkers. A popup window will tell you how many people are currently viewing your profile but claim that you must complete ‘1 short offer’ before your results will be unlocked. The popup will include a list of available ‘offers’ for you to click:

Profile Spy Scam page

Clicking any of these links takes you to various third party websites that offer games, prizes, or gifts in exchange for providing your personal information. Some will ask for your mobile phone number, ostensibly so that you can access various phone games. However, fine print on the site will state that by providing your mobile number, you are actually subscribing to an ongoing SMS ‘service’ that will charge you several dollars for every message they send you. In other cases, you may be asked to provide your name, address, and contact details as a prerequisite for entering  prize draws or getting free games. But, the fine print will state that, by providing your information, you are giving permission for ‘site sponsors’ and third-party marketers to contact you. Thus, you will soon begin receiving unwanted and annoying phone calls, text messages, emails, and surface letters peddling various products and services.

The scammers who created the rogue Profile Spy app and related pages will earn commissions each and every time somebody provides their information on one of the survey sites.

And, alas, no matter how many surveys or offers you participate in, you will never get to see who has been viewing your profile. The blurred list of names is entirely fake and will never show the people who have visited your profile. And the app itself does nothing other than post spam on your behalf. It will not reveal who has been visiting your profile. Ever.

Facebook includes the following warning about such apps in its Help files:

Can I know who’s looking at my Timeline or how often it’s being viewed?

No. Facebook doesn’t let you track who views your profile or your posts (ex: your photos). Third-party apps are also unable to do this.

If you come across an app that says it can show you who’s viewing your profile or posts, please report the app.

While there are various tools that can help you view demographic data about Facebook activity, there is no legitimate app that will provide a list of people who have looked at your profile. Some apps may provide information about your friends but only if these friends have installed the same app and and given it permission to show the data.

This scam attempt is just the latest in a long line of similar ‘view your profile stalker’ Facebook scams that have plagued Facebook users for years. If one of these posts comes your way, do not click on it and do not install any apps that it promotes. If you have already installed one of these rogue apps, remove it by navigating to the Apps section of your Facebook account Settings dialogue.

Last updated: September 25, 2016
First published: March 30, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
‘Know Who Viewed Your Profile’ Facebook Scam
Can I know who’s looking at my Timeline or how often it’s being viewed?
SURVEY SCAM – ‘See Who Watched Your Profile’
What is a Facebook Survey Scam?
Can You Really See Who Viewed Your Facebook Profile?

 

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer