BBB Warns Of Facebook Scams

Offers tips to avoid them

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The Better Business Bureau is warning users of social networking sites about a number of common scams that hackers are using to gain access to personal information.

BBB Warns Of Facebook Scams

One scam on Facebook is the "friends in distress" ploy. Facebook users receive a message in their inbox from a friend saying they are in trouble and need money wired to them. The recipient of the message does not know that their friend’s account has been hacked and the message was sent by scammers. If the Facebook users do wire the money to the scammers, they have no way to recover it.

"Social networking is extremely popular because it allows us to connect and reconnect with people we know and trust," said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson.

"Scammers know that they can take advantage of that trust by masquerading as friends, families, and coworkers in order to easily disseminate viruses or steal personal information such as bank or credit card numbers."

Another Facebook scam claims that users pictures are public. The user receives a post on their wall from a friend saying something like, "hey do u realize your Facebook picture is all over <link to Web site>". The wall posts vary, but all of them link to an outside Web site that supposedly has the user’s photos.

BBB Warns Of Facebook Scams

Facebook warns that clicking on the link will allow hackers to gain access to the user’s account and post the same message on their friend’s walls.

BBB offers the following advice for staying safe on social networking sites:

  •  Be extremely wary of messages from friends or strangers that direct the user to another Web site via a hyperlink.
  •  Before wiring money to a friend in a jam, users should attempt to contact their friend outside of the social networking site, such as over the phone or via e-mail to confirm the situation. If that’s not possible, BBB recommends asking them a question that only they would know the answer to.
  •  Users should always make sure their computer’s operating system and antivirus and firewall software are up to date.
  •  Social networking sites are about sharing information, but BBB recommends that users take steps to keep important information private. While some social networking Web sites do allow for the user to share phone numbers and addresses, it’s best to keep such information private.
  •  Be selective when choosing friends. While a user might not want to be rude, BBB recommends that it’s best to decline a request for friendship if the user doesn’t actually know the person.


BBB Warns Of Facebook Scams
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  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Debbie Morgan

    Thanks, Mike, for this information. I’m typically on FaceBook to socially market my safety and security website and raise awareness for its products so I’m always interested in anything security or FaceBook related.

    • http://www.allancarterphotography.com hampshire wedding photographer

      I joined facebook with the intension of raising folks awareness of what I was doing now. Self promotion if you like, but it becomes harder to distinguish who is who when you get friend requests. I aleays try to check out potential friends before I hit the accept button.

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    Heck, I wouldn’t recommend transferring funds just through facebook messages not unless i talk to the person… What happened to the good old phones?

    • Guest

      Ya know, I couldn’t agree with your more. Why do people Wire people money without confirming ALL the info.

      I have to share another SCAM like this that is taking place to Senior Citizens as well via the old fashioned phone.

      Caller (scam artist) will call the elder and say…”Grandpa?” and of course the reciever repeats the name of the grandchild he BELIEVES it to be. Because remember elder are usually hard of hearing as well.
      Anyways, they convince the elder they are in serious trouble need money wired to them because they did something stupid, and NOT to tell MOM because she will worry. All sounds good huh?
      People…please…ALWAYS ask more and more questions…what do you have to loose?

      • Guest

        please note that ANY crime/scam committed against seniors can be charged as felony … crime against seniors …
        so, if you know of anyone over 60yr that has been scammed … please notify your local law enforcement, DA office, adult protective services, and any senior services of which you are aware…

        this is the way they can keep up on these types of scams and warn our seniors. Law enforcement needs to be kept up-to-date with all that is happening too. we have to protect them. thank you.

  • http://www.geocities.com/hizblessings/naturesblessings Denise Rancour

    hey, i went to that website that said they got my photos on it, and i had to answer a bunch of math questions, and a lot of hooey balooey, so now maybe they might have my info. i dont know because they never let me in and i never saw the photos they were talking about. i HATE scammers!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://bangkokthaitours.com Bob walker

    The scammers like to say they are out of town and stranded and need the money quick. Gee granny I lost my wallet, or had my purse stolen….I need money now. I actually had someone try to use a hacked hotmail account ask for money overseas and they said they lost their money as it was stolen. It is hard to believe people fall for this kind of stuff. Yes contact the parents or the party by phone and ask where they are or the kids.

  • http://www.gamblingsiteguide.com/7-spins.html 7spins

    Scammers know that they can take advantage of that trust by masquerading as friends, families, and coworkers in order to easily disseminate viruses or steal personal information such as bank or credit card numbers.

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