As we all know, Facebook has become one of the most popular web sites ever. But with great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, Facebook has been slow to protect its users from the many hacks and scams making their rounds; the Huffington Post has the latest here. Fear not Scambook user, we are here to help you avoid the nastiest of Facebook scams!
You have probably seen these links all over your friends’ walls. They have headlines that are incredible, maybe it’s a link that says, “Don’t click” but you’re tempted anyways, or a recent one that promised photos of the Osama Bin Laden raid. However, once you click those links, you’ll wish you hadn’t. What happens is that your Facebook account is now compromised, that link will appear on your wall, your friends will see you liked it, and it could get worse. Depending on the quality of the “clickjacker,” your password, address book, and friend list might all be compromised. To stay safe, avoid clicking on any link that looks too good to be true. If you’re curious though, hover your cursor over the link to see if sends you to a legitimate website line www.cnn.com or www.yahoo.com.
Fake Online Quizzes
This is similar to Clickjacking, the destination is not what it seems. The link or promotion promises you compensation in exchange for filling out a quiz or poll, but likely you’ll fill in your financial information and end up with nothing. If the quiz or poll takes you out of Facebook and to a new site, then you should just ignore it. By entering your financial information on a random third-party site, you are increasing the risk that you will get scammed. Stay on Facebook to stay safe.
Help! I’m Stranded!
This scam relies on your trusting nature. You probably have hundreds of friends on Facebook and don’t know what each of them is doing. One day you’re online and a friend chats with you. They say they are stuck in a foreign country and are out of cash. The only way they can get home is if you wire them $800 for a ticket. Without thinking, you go to the closest Western Union and begin filling out the forms. All of a sudden it hits you, maybe you should double check with that friend. So you call them up and find out that they have never left the country and are ok. So who were you about to wire money to? It is most likely that your friends Facebook account was hijacked and someone was trying to scam your hard earned money. You can avoid this scam by checking with your friend through e-mail or a phone call before you send them any cash.
Check Your App
The number of Facebook apps has exploded recently. Without a lot of guidance on what apps are good or bad, it is easy to be tricked into installing a malicious app. A recent example of this was an application that claimed Facebook would shutdown inactive accounts and to protect your account you must install this application. Unfortunately for those who did install the app, it quickly posted spam on their walls. The best way to stay safe is to do a quick web search to see if the application is safe.
How to Stay Safe
Facebook has addressed some of these scamming attempts by creating a “Facebook security” page. They provide you with some tips to avoid these scams, such as these:
1. Don’t click on links that look suspicious: if the link looks too good to be true, a free iPad, then it likely is a scam.
2. Be protective of your password: if a page on the Internet asks for your Facebook password, make sure it is a real website and not a phishing attempt. You can learn more about phishing here.
3. Mark it as spam: Facebook lets you mark a friend’s postings as spam if you think it is not legit. If a friend is posting a bunch of weird links in their feed, then it is likely their account has been hacked.
4. Check Scambook.com: Scambook users are good at posting the latest scams they have come across. Chances are that if you have even the smallest suspicion, then it is a scam. But be sure to do a search on Scambook.com to double check.
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