Facebook Quiz: How The Scam Works
Facebook quizzes may seem like a lot of fun –especially during the COVID-19 pandemic — but there’s a good reason why you should stay away from them. Yes, we know, any trivia on Facebook may be tempting, not to mention that you see all your friends doing it.
Every other day you may see a personality test which you’ve also been asked to join. However, before you go ahead like most of your friends, there are a few points to keep in mind, so you don’t ask yourself later why scammers know everything about you. Because it’s simple, let’s dive in.
Facebook quiz games are nothing more than a security threat. A particular survey promoted as “Which Money Heist character are you?” was discovered to be a scheme that hackers use to gain access to users’ login security questions.
It may seem like a hard thing to do, but by completing the survey, you’ll be providing them with all the information they need. Think about it. Money Heist is one of the most-watched TV series in history, featuring enough likable characters that people worldwide identify with.
When the false Facebook quiz asks you about your character, so it matches the TV persona, it mainly extracts some personal information that crooks can use on a follow-up action: Do you have kids? Place you are born? What do you choose between wine and beer? The school you went to? Favorite place to visit? Your hometown? Ethnic background?
The whole point is not about the Money Heist, it’s how the information is given away without effort. The name could be any other popular TV show – and rest assured, it will happen when the next big Netflix hit airs (by the way, beware of fake Netlix offers, too).
These quizzes are gamified and easy to complete, so many people think they are just playing. However, only a few realize that trivia on Facebook is not just trivia. It will require that you fill in some personal details. Similar to the “Which Money Heist character are you?” quiz, other questionnaires decipher information in your profile such as your religion, sexual orientation, photos, groups you’ve belonged to, political affiliations, and virtually all information about yourself that is online. Let’s dig deeper so that you understand how the data is stolen.
To take a personality test, victims grant access to this Facebook quiz app for more than they bargain for – without even knowing that they’ve done so. Most people are eager to complete the questionnaires and examine their scores. But they miss this:
The “Allow” button of the quiz popup and the phrase around it give away a few things. You may notice a statement saying you’re allowing the quiz access to extract your info. This information includes your photos, friend’s details, and types of other content that it requires. Below the “Allow” button, there is another statement:
“When you use third-party apps, websites, or other services that use, or are integrated with, our Services, they may receive information about what you post or share. For example, when you play a game with your Facebook friends or use the Facebook Comment or Share button on a website, the game developer or website may get information about your activities in the game or receive a comment or link that you share from their website on Facebook. Also, when you download or use such third-party services, they can access your Public Profile, which includes your username or user ID, your age range and country/language, your list of friends, as well as any information that you share with them. Information collected by these apps, websites, or integrated services is subject to their own terms and policies”.
Look at the last seven words. Let that sink in for a bit.
Facebook Quizzes: More Threats
You must know that not all quizzes you come across on Facebook are scams. A lot of them are real and are just a way for people to have fun. However, there’s still a serious risk. Scammers rely on the integrity of other quizzes to fool you into revealing vital information about yourself. It’s usually hard to identify scam quizzes. Here are a few other things that cybercrooks perpetrate:
Credit card fraud. Be careful about Facebook quizzes that ask you to pay for it or even promise a reward. As soon as they request some vital credit card information, you can confirm that it’s a scam.
Malware. Scammers may decide to hide some malicious code in a seemingly friendly interface, and quizzes are a great place to hide them. Links, parts of the questionnaire, and even images may contain some malware that can infect your device and cause problems.
Identity theft. If a quiz asks you for your social security number or drivers’ license information, just close the game.
Like Farming. Data collection isn’t the only thing that these scammers want to get. Like Farming happens when scammers create a new, real post, get it viral, but then swap it for something else once they’ve driven traffic to it.
Trivia on Facebook: How To Avoid Scammers
Check your privacy settings now. Take a look at the privacy settings for your Facebook account. If you haven’t checked the privacy settings for your account, do it now. Navigate to “Who can see my stuff?” and choose “Friends” or “Only me.”
Quizzes are a popular tool by scammers because of the sheer number of people that complete them. They also get around rapidly. You must keep this in mind and be careful about any quiz that you come across. Look at it carefully before you take any part in it.
Edit your profile and remove personal details. Facebook asks you several questions to set up your account, but you don’t have to answer all of them. It’s more advisable that you share less personal information in your profile. What you share can be private, but your profile is much more public. Details that are made public in your profile include your profile picture, where you grew up, where you schooled, where you work, etc.
If you’re unsure about the quiz, avoid it.
Watch the video below to see the Facebook Quiz Scam exposed in the news, too:
How To Report a Bogus Personality Test
Warn your family and friends about the Facebook Quiz Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to either Facebook Support or the Federal Trade Commission using the links below:
How To Prevent Identity Theft and More
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