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‘Profile Visitors for Facebook’ Rogue App and Survey Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Facebook message claims that users can see who has been visiting them on Facebook by installing the ‘Profile Visitors for Facebook’ extension.

Brief Analysis

The 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.

Example

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!”

 

Detailed Analysis

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:Facebook Profile Visitors Scam 1

Clicking the “activate” link takes users to a second page where they are invited to download the “Profile Visitors” installation file:

Facebook Profile Visitors Scam 2

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:

Facebook Profile Visitors Scam 3

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.

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