If you’re like most people, you like to hang out on Facebook and exchange messages with your family and friends. Watch out! Your friends may not be your friends.
Criminals are targeting your personal details with a deceptive new Facebook scam. This one is especially sinister. It goes after your trust factor.
Here’s how it works:
You’re sitting on Facebook. Suddenly, you get a friend request. Everything is pretty common. It happens all the time.
You probably wouldn’t think twice about accepting a friend request from a familiar face or longtime friend. But you have to ask yourself: “Am I already friends with them?” If the answer is yes, the request is likely a scam by a criminal up to no good.
The new tactic works like this: A criminal re-creates someone’s existing Facebook profile using that person’s profile picture and “About” information. They use the phony new profile to send friend requests to that same person’s Facebook friends.
If you accept, you’ve just given this stranger access to the many personal details on your profile: status updates, location, date of birth and photos. Those simple details, in the hands of today’s cyber criminals, can be used to steal your full identity and wreak havoc with your entire life.
Posing as you, the scammer can also message your friends asking for money or trying to meet up in person.
If you get a friend request from an existing friend, verify that the request is real. And of course, be very wary of friend requests from people you don’t know.
Your best way to stay protected is to tighten your security settings so that only your Facebook friends can view your profile, photos and other info. Also, go into the “Friends” section of your activity log. At the top, it says, “Who can see your friend list?” In the drop-down, select “Friends,” rather than “Public.”
This isn’t the only scam that’s spreading on Facebook right now. A few weeks ago we warned you about the fraudulent coupon that’s spreading around, and the fake compliance messages.
If you’re concerned about scams, here are three important stories you need to read.
- 5 details Facebook asks for that you shouldn’t give
- Don’t click “like” on Facebook
- Archive all of your Facebook data
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