5 scam warnings for Facebook users: how to avoid falling for them
Over the past few days, various readers have emailed me five different warnings. All of them are related to Facebook, and deal with attempts to trick unsuspecting users into actions that profit the scammers.
What warnings, you ask? Without further ado:
- “If you get a notice of a photo tag, DO NOT OPEN it.”
- “If you get a notification that a friend reported you for offensive behavior, DO NOT OPEN IT.”
- “Get 5000 FBK credits, DO NOT OPEN IT.”
- “Message from ya mates chat saying click this link, DO NOT OPEN IT.”
- “Crash at Alton Towers, DO NOT OPEN IT.”
Based on my in-depth research (read: a quick search on Google) item #3 leads Facebook users to what looks like an online NSFW live show portal, but is actually a site built to steal personal information.
Item #5 on the other hand tricks users into completing a survey—for every completed questionnaire the scammer(s) gets paid.
How to detect Facebook scams
So long as Facebook remains popular, you can bet scammers will continue dreaming up new ways to profit from unsuspecting users. However, here’s a common pattern:
- All Facebook scams promise something interesting, useful, or necessary. For instance, item #2 carries the implied threat that, if you don’t do anything, you may lose your Facebook account
- In return, the user has to complete a series of tasks—including sharing the offer with all of his Facebook friends. This requirement is to help the scam spread and attract more users.
If you encounter a Facebook post that meets the above criteria, click on the X that appers on the upper right of the post when you move your mouse pointer over it. This will remove the post from your wall. Next, warn the friend that posted it that their account may be compromised, and that they should change their password as soon as possible.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 at 3:27 am and is filed under Tips & Tricks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.