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facebook scamsThere’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Facebook here at MUO recently. We’ve only just published our very unofficial guide to Facebook privacy The (Very) Unofficial Facebook Privacy Guide [PDF] The (Very) Unofficial Facebook Privacy Guide [PDF] Read More , there’s the recent article about the new Facebook data downloader Download Your Entire Facebook History With the New Data Downloader Download Your Entire Facebook History With the New Data Downloader Read More and I blew a fuse in a recent rant 6 Reasons I Hate Facebook [Geeks Weigh-In] 6 Reasons I Hate Facebook [Geeks Weigh-In] Read More .

Even if you’re happy-as-Larry with the service, spend all your spare time poking your friends and uploading photos then you might be aware that a number of Facebook scams exist, some being more obvious to spot than others.

A simple lapse in concentration or placing trust in the recommendation of a friend could compromise your account, and any websites that share your Facebook login information. I’m not saying everyone’s out to get you 7 Completely Free VPN Services to Protect Your Privacy 7 Completely Free VPN Services to Protect Your Privacy Read More – but you might want to look over your virtual shoulder every now and again.

Help – I’m Stuck In Nigeria!

This kind of scam is the perfect example of how your account can be misused should your details somehow get stolen. Picture the scene – one of your good friends has gone away, backpacking through some enchanting yet fairly dangerous places.

Suddenly you get a message. Oh no! Your friend has lost her wallet in Lagos and now needs a quick Western Union money transfer or else she’ll surely be stuck. Or is she? Has she simply forgotten to log out at an internet café and had her account compromised?

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facebook scams

Did she actually go anywhere in the first place?

These kinds of scams prey on those who make use of public access points, but you don’t necessarily need to be travelling to have your details stolen. If you do get any messages from friends asking for sums of money (whatever the reason), you should immediately become suspicious.

If you can get to an internet caf̩ you can get to a phone Рnever send money without overwhelming proof of who you are sending it to.

Join This Group – AMAZING Things Will Happen!

Any group that attests to having some fantastic feature appear on your account upon joining is a scam. That’s right folks, there is no “profile tracker” or “dislike button” to be had, only links to ad-farms and registration forms that spam your email address.

facebook scams and dangers

The golden rule here is if it looks too good to be true – then it’s definitely not genuine. You won’t be getting a free iPod by filling out that survey, simply providing someone else with your data that can then be used for unsolicited contact.

It could be a grammatical nightmare constructed by a 15 year old girl or a well thought out attempt to get some clicks; either way – don’t join.

Fakebook Connect

Facebook’s useful cross-site login feature called Connect is also a fond target for scammers. Personally I always register separate accounts for this very reason – but I’m probably just paranoid.

Fake “Connect with Facebook” windows are likely to catch a considerable amount of users out – and once you’ve entered that oh-so-important email and password combination then there’s not much you can do.

facebook scams and dangers

If you think you’ve fallen foul to a Facebook Connect scam then you should immediately change your password.

Reel Big Phishing

Phishing is the name given to the act of gaining a user’s login information by deceit, such as imitating a commonly used service. Facebook is the web’s favourite timewaster, and despite browser advancements that now warn of known dishonest websites, phishing Get Instant Alerts Of New Computer Viruses & Phishing Emails Get Instant Alerts Of New Computer Viruses & Phishing Emails Read More is still used to reel in unsuspecting victims.

facebook scams and dangers

Many who use this technique are turning to URL shortening services to mask the fake web address. You can avoid all phishing scams by taking extra care to check the web address you are visiting in your browser’s address bar. Also avoid any “totally shocking” videos that direct you to applications in order to deliver some unmissable content.

Don’t forget if you see something like facebook.something.com or randomurl.net/facebook then you know you’re being scammed.

Off-Site Malware

I touched on this in my rant about Facebook – there are an increasing amount of websites establishing themselves as aggregated “Like” lists.

It’s a chance for the masses to congregate and decide that “Justin Bieber is a legend!” and rejoice at the 25,000 Likes and counting. I’ve noticed a lot of these sites can throw up a malware 7 Essential Security Downloads You MUST Have Installed 7 Essential Security Downloads You MUST Have Installed Read More warning in Chrome, which isn’t exactly surprising.

facebook scams

Some (but not all) of these sites are simply cashing in on the popularity of Facebook, and preying on a target audience that is often more interested in Saturday morning television than online privacy 7 Top Firewall Programs To Consider For Your Computer's Security 7 Top Firewall Programs To Consider For Your Computer's Security Read More and data protection Five Online Encryption Tools to Protect Your Privacy Five Online Encryption Tools to Protect Your Privacy Read More .

If you’ve got a bad case of children and Internet Explorer syndrome then make sure you run regular virus scans and educate your sprogs about the virtues of personal data and computer welfare.

Conclusion

Facebook is another of those things that can be exploited for some sort of personal gain. Keep your eyes peeled when you’re sharing your data with other services, and don’t be hasty when there’s money involved.

Oh, and if you notice one of your friends’ accounts looks compromised – maybe pick up that phone, like in the good ole’ days, and let them know.

  1. pam
    December 20, 2010 at 3:43 am

    thers anew one igot today from a lady named tara lynn cleveland vance and david parker about a facebook lawsuit with the goverment and other goverments and that im supposed to be recieving alotta money , shes says its real its bullshit , but hellbe contacting you and he did , he got told off , she had been on my facebook for awhile as a game friend but not anymore ,, oh yeah and he s an f.b. i agent and he need some info from me ,, not!!! im not stupid , hope nobody else is!!!

  2. Terry
    December 4, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    I got a neighbour that has been getting "security letters" claiming she violated some terms of service (TOS). She got one about a week ago claiming that her account would be closed in 48 hours if she did not confirm here account. She got another similar one today. Thy link does not go to a Facebook domain. But if you click on it, it takes you to a very Facebook like sign in page. They also had pornography spelled "porngrafi". Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm sure it's fake.

  3. Saud MD. Munwar
    December 4, 2010 at 8:49 am

    A new scam to be considered....that facebook are offering "Recieve upto 2741.88 in cash"
    http://facebook.com-social.com...

  4. Guest
    December 3, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    What is this all about?!

    Warning: A browser setting is preventing you from logging in. Fix this setting to log in

  5. Guest
    December 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    What is this all about?!

    Warning: A browser setting is preventing you from logging in. Fix this setting to log in

  6. BULLDOG Estate
    December 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    http://www.facebook.com/bulldo... a world without scams, secrets and lies

  7. Guest009
    December 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    they have another one. its like OMG OMG CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT THIS GIRLS FATHER SAID TO MAKE HER COMMIT SUICIDE!! OR whenever you IMing someone itll pop up something like CLICK HERE TO LOOK AT ALL MY SMILEYS! or something.

  8. Cobain_0007
    November 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

    facebook sucks !

  9. Jason Harris
    November 26, 2010 at 6:38 am

    There are a lot of scams to watch out for - on Facebook and off. However, for Facebook, there's a really good utility called safego from BitDefender. It's a facebook app that a) checks your facebook privacy settings to alert you to any issues with information you may be unknowingly giving out and b) scans all links on your wall, in your inbox and in comments to see if any of them are malicious in any way.

    To install it, search for safego in Facebook and add the app.

    Yes, I work from BitDefender, but I continue to use the safego app and love it.

  10. Jason Harris
    November 26, 2010 at 7:38 am

    There are a lot of scams to watch out for - on Facebook and off. However, for Facebook, there's a really good utility called safego from BitDefender. It's a facebook app that a) checks your facebook privacy settings to alert you to any issues with information you may be unknowingly giving out and b) scans all links on your wall, in your inbox and in comments to see if any of them are malicious in any way.

    To install it, search for safego in Facebook and add the app.

    Yes, I work from BitDefender, but I continue to use the safego app and love it.

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