Facebook ScamsMost of us think that our personal info is perfectly safe when we are socializing on a social network, like Facebook. This is the biggest mistake we can ever make. Keep one thing in your mind from the moment you connect to internet, that you are going to enter such a hub of information where you can not only get to know facts, but accidentally and unknowingly can give away your personal information, too. Scammers and con artists have found haven in these days; forget about safety and privacy once you put your personal info on a social networking website. If Beny Rubinstein; a tech giant with a huge 20 years experience in IT can get conned on the Facebook, anyone can.

Specifically talking about Facebook; you must remain more conscious than ever because a number of scammers have spread across the network. Out of all the defrauding schemes, I have chosen five to tell you people about, so that you have beforehand knowledge of what to do and what not to do, what to believe in and what to avoid completely at Facebook.

1. The Nigerian 419:

It isn’t something new to internet world; in fact this scam dates back decades when it was known as Advance Fee Fraud. This scheme has intruded into the Facebook, recently. The brains behind it hack information of a user, approach his/her contacts with the user’s full details, and ask for some money. Due to the completely detailed messages, people think that it is none other than their buddy, and send the required money without even authenticating the approaching person’s identity. The tech guru mentioned above was also conned this way.

How to avoid the scam?

Before sending the money right away to the “apparent buddy”, check out if he is really your friend by contacting him/her through any other means than Facebook, like calling his cell phone, or sending him a letter etc. Also, ask such a question the answer to which, most probably, cannot be known by the hacker, e.g. a very personal question. These tips will help you not fall prey to the Nigerian scam.

2. The Widgets:

We all love Facebook widgets, which are the overwhelming third party applications. Most of the Facebook users are fond of these applications that range from friends to movies to likes and dislikes to hates and so on.

Remember those applications always demand access to your profile? And you always click “continue” tab because you believe in Facebook’s privacy and security methods. To your alarm, many scammers have built applications for the sole reason to get access to users’ profiles; i.e. to their personal info. A 2008 scam application “Secret Crush” was anything but sweet, as it installed spyware onto users’ computers. Though it has been crippled, threat of similar applications still exists.

A recent application called “Error Check System” has sent alarms throughout the internet. This application sends a warning message to user which reads, “[Name] has faced some errors when checking your profile View The Errors Message.”

Visit Error Check System Screenshot to view few of screenshots for Error Check System.

How to avoid the scam?

Facebook is not as safe as you think. Do not put your in every third party application you like. When you add an application onto your profile, you simply give it access to your personal info present in your profile. The world is filled with sick-minded evil-geniuses who can use people’s personal info in ANY way at all to manipulate them. Be ware of these widgets!

3. The KoobFace Virus:

Koobface

(Credit: McAfee Avert Labs)

Sounds funny? It isn’t. It’s only an anagram of Facebook. This virus is devilish! It spreads very quickly once it infects a PC. After that, the program begins sending automated wall posts and messages to user’s contacts at Facebook regarding a “hilarious video” or some “scandalous photos” of a common friend. Excited and keen, the message recipient clicks the link. It takes them to a page with a “fake Adobe Flash update or a fake codec” that has to be downloaded. Users choose to download, and the downloaded program is nothing else but a Malware.

How to avoid the scam?

There needs to be some common sense involved in order to remain safe from this malware. First of all, install a Practical Anti Virus program. Secondly, NEVER click on a software update download link. Cancel it simply, and check out the home site for that software to find out whether the update is legal or not.

4. Phishing:

This method is used by swindles to gain personal information about people in order to steal their identity or to gain access to their financial accounts or lines of credit. This will generally look like an official e-mail from a bank or other business and ask people for personal information.

Likewise, scammers make people follow links that direct them to pages that look exactly like official Facebook home page. Users enter their names and passwords, and ALAS! The account is no more theirs! Once scammers get access to an account, they go on sending those fake URLs to other people and keep on gaining access to more and more people’s personal info and accounts.

How to avoid the scam?

Do not enter your passwords when you are asked for a password midsession. Do not click every link that comes in front of your eyes.

5. Beware of the Groups:

Instinctively, we join a group that matches our interests or connects us to old buddies. Groups can be made for many purposes e.g. marketing. Though it doesn’t make you face a malicious threat, but still it is unethical.

Mr. Brad J. Ward was the first person who got to know about such scams. He joined a community of his class, which in fact had nothing to do with the specific class. Then he figured out that many such fake groups had been created on the Facebook which had names of schools, but had nothing to do with those schools. When things became clear, it was known that the person behind it used all those communities to gain access to many mailing ids, and build a huge mailing list to advertise his products. Anyways, the fake groups were removed from the site.

How to avoid the scam?

Only if you know who owns it, join the group. Memberships and socialization is nothing in comparison with your privacy.

Final Words:

These days, sharing info on internet is more dangerous than walking back home in the middle of a night. Your secrecy and privacy has no equal; it must remain this way. Socializing on online social sites is okay, but do watch out for whom you are sharing your info with, and what can they do to it. Be careful; be protected!

Comments (2)

  1. Hmm… We all need to realize the seriousness of this issue and use social networking sites with caution. Every person needs to be authorized first before giving in. Also, you should stay away from downloading any suspicious software from net, especially the ones sent via links.
    Precaution is better than cure.

  2. Another one: all of the “notes” that ask you questions like your first car, the street you grew up on, where you were born – so you get your redneck name, your pornstar name, etc. I think someone is collecting these because they are the same as security questions to gain access to your bank accounts.

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