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How to Become a Facebook Scam Detective


June 22, 2012

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How to Become a Facebook Scam Detective

With the increase in crime on social networks, users should become more scam-wary than ever before. Here are some clues to look out for as you learn to become the Sherlock Holmes of your Facebook account.

Social scammers use tricky methods to avoid Facebook security filters. Developing their own Spamglish talk, they lure people with grammatically-challenged but clever dirty tricks. Here are some of the linguistic differentiators to put under your magnifying glass. Happy scam hunting!

1. Inverting words in a phrase

Social cyber crooks don`t dive into their poetic mood before sending their scams into the wild. But they do use inversion to avoid security detection. For example, “Facebook has released an official application to check who viewed your profile” is commonly changed into “This application was officially released by Facebook to allow users to check your profile viewers.”

2. Figures better than letters

In this case, the same phrase gets changed into “Faceb00k has released an official application to ch3ck wh0 v1ewed your proflle.” According to Bitdefender specialists, the most common changes to keep an eye on are:

– zero “0” replaces “o”

– three “3” replaces “e”

– “l” or one “1” replaces “i”

Spamglish could also be based on typoglycemia, a recent discovery about the cognitive processes behind reading written text. Because people may understand the meaning of words in a sentence even when the interior letters of each word are scrambled, scammers can use figures instead on letters without the risk that users don’t get what they’re saying.

3. Spelling mistakes

Because Facebook uses grammatically correct signatures, spammers make spelling mistakes to pass detection filters. For example, “Facebook has released an official application to check who viewed your profile” becomes “Facebok haz release an oficial aplication to check who viewed your profile.”

4. Using abbreviations

Spammers don’t use abbreviations because they’re in a hurry. They just try to fool detection to trick more people. The same warning about the new Facebook application may become “FB has released an official app 2 check who viewed your profile.” All these methods are also generally used for e-mail spam.

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Tudor Florescu, Bitdefender Online Threats Analyst.




Bianca Stanescu, the fiercest warrior princess in the Bitdefender news palace, is a down-to-earth journalist, who's always on to a cybertrendy story.

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