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Facebook Scams

User beware

Some say the world is a very dangerous place and facebook seems like a safe haven, you sign up, connect with friendly people and exchange ideas. It sounds lovely and harmless, however there are criminal gangs, corporations and other nefarious users trolling through all the facebook members searching for opportunities to make a profit.

Some of these scams are phishing schemes trying to obtain your username and password, while others end in surveys and bogus offers to get some of your data. Other lure girls as targets for sexual exploitation and there are some who run blackmail scams. Several have been known to spread viruses and other malware, so it’s important to keep anti-virus software installed and updated. So the bottom line is that if it seems unreal, it is and by accepting or involving yourself, you can get sucked in.

Facebook itself is a danger due to the data it collects and now it plans to Perhaps the most alarming is Facebook’s ‘technique for emotion detection and content delivery by watcing its users through their smartphone cameras or webcams. Read more.

Common scams

  1. Vouchers; in return for personal details/ information. These are almost always bogus offers.
  2. Apps: unless made by facebook for member, these are all high risk because Facebook doesn’t give the developers access to the data required to create them. They are highly likely to result in transferring trojans, viruses and other malware infestations to your device.
  3. Dislike Buttons: as in point 2, these are malicious software that can harm your computer of steal you data.
  4. Free Items: Gift Cards & Tickets are all too good to be true. You aren’t going to get free airline tickets, Subway or Starbucks gift cards or a Facebook gift just by completing a survey.
  5. Phishing Attempts: to Steal Your Login Info. These are typically email messages pretending to be from Facebook Security (or anywhere else you login to)  are a popular way they trick users.  When you click the link, you are taken to your login lookalike page, except the https://www.address.com will be different. When you try to login, the scammers have your details and can log in quicker than you to take possession of your FB or any other account.
    Be especially wary of communications that purport to be from Facebook or from friends that request you click a link and enter your Facebook login details, as this could be a spoof website.
  6. Stealing or replicating your profile: 
    They may do anything from trying to replicate yours or one of your friends profiles, or simply post malicious information within your network of friends.
  7. Viral messages that that Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or someone is giving millions to ordinary Facebook users or even charities. Supposedly, all you need do for a chance of being randomly selected as one of a thousand people to receive $4.5 million is copy and paste the message and tag five to then of your friends.
  8. Extortion and grooming: There is a lot of misinformation circulating the web about the dangers of accepting friend requests from strangers so what are the risks?
    These are insidious scams generally carried out by young men and women working for mafia organisations who target individuals.
    Their purposes include:

    • Extortion
      Pretty young girls call men, pose nude and and basically talk dirty asking their victim to undress. All the time they are taking screenshots and should the unlucky person get sucked into this little game, they will soon get a message saying that unless they pay a certain amount of money, those slightly embarrassing photos will be distributed to all their friends. But really, all they need is a couple of clear photos (screenshots) of their victim and the rest they can create in any photo editor in order to extort money.
    • Grooming
      Gangs of boys target teenage girls, romance them and usually try to arrange meetings for sex and some girls are kidnapped or even killed. The media rarely reports these events as they often involve Muslims and mafia organisations.

Unless you have your settings screwed down, any new friend request that you accept will give them access to all your information. They can go through all your friends and send them friend requests to make them a part of your network. While this is quite a good way for new FC members to connect with people with similar interests and share information, scammers can collect all that information and use it against you because at a certainlevel, everyone is gullible.

How to stay safe:

Open your FB settings

  • Never give your phone or email address to anyone unless you know them well. Strangers who ask are most often harbouring ill intent.
  • Set who can see my stuff to friends only unless you're touting for business
  • Set who can friend request me to friends of friends only
  • Set who can look me up to friends only
  • Set who can see your list of friends to Me Only. Tod do this, after login in facebook account go to your profile, click on your friends just click on that button. You will see a pencil button on the page righ next to Find Friands  just click on that button (Manage button) then click on edit privacy.
    Set Who can see friend list to "Only Me"
    Set Who can see people and pages to friends
  • Set followers to friends only

These setting give a reasonable level of safety and they can be made stronger but then unless fb is only a tool to connect with specific people, you may not grow much of a friends list.

How to spot suspicious friend requests

  1. When you receive a friend request from someone that you do not know, before accepting, click on their name on the request box and look at their profile. If they have zero or only a couple of other friends and zero posts, there is a high probability they will be some malice intended toward you. If you are unsure, you can message them to ask who they are and why they want to be your friend.
  2. If you accept a new friend request and they either text or call on messenger with any offer that's too good to be true, you can be certain they are not acting in your best interest and you should block them. You will find a blocking tool and the left of your privacy settings and tools page.

Don't needlessly give strangers access to your life online. Make sure your Facebook account doesn't allow any details about you to escape beyond your own Facebook friends, and try and limit the amount of personal information you make available [to anyone, including your friends] through your Facebook account. And of course always ensure everyone on your friends list is someone you can trust.

You would be surprised what information someone can glean from your account once they are your Facebook friend. Individual nuggets of information about you, such as your email or where you live, are relatively benign by themselves. But when enough information is collected and accumulated about you it can potentially be used to commit identity theft or other crimes.

Have you been stung? Add your warning on the form below and this is not a scam.

Refs:
How to spot a scam
www.scamwatch.govt.nz
Fraud Info
Facecrooks

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3 comments to Facebook Scams

  • There are several scams and hoaxes circulating at the moment that are covered by our Top Ten list. A few of them are profile viewer apps, celebrity death hoaxes and free iPhone/Samsung offers. Check out the full list to get a broad overview of what to look out for on Facebook, and be sure to share it with your friends!

  • Antony Marangoni

    Facebook spammers are pretending to be grief-stricken friends of the Manchester Arena victims to trick people into following RIP Facebook pages and sharing posts.

  • Sasha

    Here’s one:
    Police catch thief:
    Police: How did u come to know that there is no one in the house ?
    Robber: The update of the entire family with photographs was available on facebook saying they were enjoying Holidays in Dubai for one week.

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