The Most Common Facebook Scams

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Facebook is one of the biggest social media sites used globally. This fact means that it is also one of the biggest targets for cybercrime, which is why avoiding Facebook scams is extremely important in today’s digital world. Hackers and fake profiles will try to persuade you to part with your personal details or directly request money transfers. It is, therefore, essential to stay alert when using Facebook and other social media sites. But what are the most frequent cons used on facebook?

Profile Hacking

When looking up the words ‘most common facebook …’ on google, one of the first suggestions for searches is ‘most common facebook passwords’, giving us an idea of just how common it is for people to hack profiles. However, the truth of the matter isn’t entirely revealed until you search for ‘facebook profile hacking.’ The result is somewhat alarming. The first page of Google offers a list of different applications and websites that allow amateurs to hack any Facebook profile, completely free, anonymously, and within minutes!

One of the biggest security issues for Facebook users is the possibility of having your profile hacked. But even if it happens to someone you know through Facebook, you could also be at risk of a security threat. When profiles are hacked or duplicated, they are done so either to gather data on that person or their acquaintances. This is either for the purpose of identity fraud or to scam someone with the aim of financial gain. Be very wary of your friends and family asking for personal data through Facebook and especially of requests for money.

Romance Scams

This is one of the most common types of scams used on social networking sites. Nowadays so many people rely on dating sites and the internet in general to make connections that result in romantic relationships. This has led to a new niche in the market opening up for con artists, where they trick people into sending them money.  According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission, in 2018 $143 million USD was reported lost to romance scams online.

Usually, scammers will write to a person through their online profile and start to get to know them for a few weeks. They build trust and talk often, establishing a rapport through a story that often involves living abroad and needing money to return home or come to visit. Often these profiles base their lives around the idea of working on an oil rig, being posted abroad in the military or working with an international organization. Scammers ask people to send money via a wire transfer or to put money on gift cards. These methods help them to remain anonymous and receive money quickly.

Fake Job Adverts

Another common scam that people suffer through Facebook includes many false job adverts. At first glance, many look legit but usually end up asking for details or payments of some kind that a normal job application would never require. Any offer for employment that requests confidential information or payment, indicating whatever reason such as training or travel costs, should not be trusted as a legitimate offer.

It is also common for fake job adverts to uses free e-mail addresses together personal information on a range of people. Be aware of any Google, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts requesting confidential data such as banking details, ID numbers, etc.

Lotteries and Loans

Scammers on Facebook send messages to people indicating that they have won a lottery or are eligible to apply for a loan with low or zero rates. The individual is told they must make a small deposit to cover administration or submission fees. Through this action, the winners’ borrowers are made to believe that they will then be given access to their money. Itisoftenthe case that scammers will request ID and personal data in order to seem more authentic. Thus, making these on even more dangerous, due to the sensitive nature of the information sent.

Tackle Facebook Threats

In addition to these organized scams, itis vital to be on the lookout for other types of cyber threats that can reach you through Facebook. Other problems that can arise through irresponsible use of Facebook include viruses being downloaded on to users’ computers by clicking on unsafe links; as well as information being obtained by unsavory characters by completing fake contest forms. Additionally, connecting via your Facebook login on unsecured sites can lead to your credentials being intercepted. There is even something known as GEO-stalking: the act of finding a person’s location through their active GPS on social media.

The best ways of avoiding Facebook scams are to check with your friends through a different form of communication. If they’re asking for information that they should already have, such as a phone number or email address or requesting payments, it is wise to get in touch. Also, make sure to report any suspicious activities and fake or duplicate accounts to the appropriate authorities. Avoid engaging with the person behind the profile, to make sure they do not get their hands on your information.

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