A scan of timelines worldwide shows that social media scammers are likely to double their profits during the holiday period this year with the number of Christmas scams flooding Facebook almost double the number from 2012.
According to antivirus software provider Bitdefender, Facebook users are also exposed to more than 10,000 free voucher scams that promise gifts for loved ones but deliver fraudulent surveys designed to grab their money and financial details.
"There are two simple steps that will ruin your Christmas: click on a free voucher scam, and complete the `intelligence’ surveys that ask for your credentials and your mum’s maiden name," says Catalin Cosoi, Chief Security Strategist, Bitdefender.
"Not even Santa Claus will help you recover the money and personal details you lose.”
At the same time, social media users are hit with more than 130 charity and donation scams that spread from one timeline to another.
Charity scams are up 10 per cent from last Christmas, according to Bitdefender Safego researchers. To convince users to donate money online, cyber-criminals go so far to use photos of children and images of bed-ridden cancer victims.
“Social media users should think twice before clicking on dubious Christmas messages that ask them to complete endless surveys,” Cosoi adds.
“By keeping their software updated, including their antivirus solution, they will also be protected from malicious and fraudulent links spreading during the holidays.”
Users may also install the free application Safego that will protect them and their friends from the latest online threats, scams, spam, malware and private data exposure on Facebook.