As of last quarter, Facebook has over 1.19 billion monthly active users, with 728 million users using the service daily. On the dark side of the world, this figure amounts to the number of victims that online scammers have charted on their dartboards. Unarguably, Facebook is the most lucrative avenue for cybercriminals to distribute scams and malware, and make a livelihood out of it. So, while we can’t do much to subdue the evil intentions of such perpetrators, what we can ensure is keeping you updated on how not to fall prey to their tricks. This post today, will tell you about the 5 Internet scams running on Facebook and what should you do to stay away from them.
1. Watch out for Fake Facebook Friend Requests
Whenever you receive a friend request, even if it is from a person you know or are already friends with, always ensure to run a check on their profile. Even better, drop them a line saying “Hey, I just received your request…” Why we are saying this? Hackers can hijack or impersonate your friend’s account and try to befriend you. And if you are not vigilant enough, they might trick you into visiting a site or clicking a video link, etc., that can either steal your personal and banking information, or drop a malware on your system without you knowing about it.
What you should do
Have a word with your friend just to confirm if they have really sent you a request and that their account is secure and functioning as it normally should.
2. Watch out for Facebook Security Team’s Fake Warning Emails
While it is obvious that Facebook must be having its own IT security team, it is highly unlikely that the team will send you emails about shutting down your account. Many users have reported about receiving unsolicited emails from Facebook Security Team or Facebook Team, warning them their account will be closed permanently unless they click on a link to confirm their details. Such emails are completely fake and their only intention is to take you to a phishing page where they can steal your personal information like user ID, passwords, name, date of birth, etc.
What you should do
Trash such emails immediately. Get an antivirus program that can block such malicious emails.
3. Watch out for the Facebook Free Coupon Survey Scam
Have you come across any surveys on Facebook promising you free coupons? Most of these are usually fake and are crafted to trick users into sharing their personal details, and spread the same to their friends. Here’s how most Facebook survey scams work. Available as a clickable post on your timeline, first it will take you to a fake Facebook page. There, you will be asked to share the page and send it to 10 of your friends in order to claim the free coupons. If you decide to go further, you will be instructed to follow one or more links of other websites to verify your entry by sharing your personal details. And no matter how further you go, you will never receive those promised coupons, because there weren’t any to begin with. By following all these instructions, you will only have exposed your friends to the scam, and supplied your data to third party websites who would then use it to serve you unwanted ads about their products and services.
4. Watch out for the Facebook Lottery Scams
The lottery devil has always been a major attraction for those who think luck is the only way to be successful. Well, to the learned minds, this is far from being true. Nevertheless, most people do not think twice when this devil flashes its evil horns on the Internet; in this case, Facebook. A lottery scam is currently being distributed by scammers to Facebook users. Here, the user receives an email, congratulating them to have won a great sum in a lucky draw conducted by the company. What follows is an instruction for the user to contact a certain person who will be responsible to transfer the money to the winner’s bank account. If the victim contacts this particular individual, they will be asked to mandatorily pay a certain amount of cash in advance, as a legal requirement, in order to claim their ‘winnings’. And if the victim agrees to do so, every bit of the money will go into the scammer’s pocket, with no ‘winnings’ whatsoever.
5. Watch out for Facebook Posts Begging for Likes/Shares for Sick Patients
The level scammers can stoop down to, to get their way, has no bottom to it. Horrid and remorse-instilling photographs of sick patients, especially babies are being circulated on Facebook to gather likes, shares, and comments from unsuspecting users. In most cases, perpetrators tag such pictures with captions like “1 like = 1 prayer”, “1 like = 1 dollar”, etc. Liking and sharing such pictures, would no way, help the person in the picture; not to mention, even pass them any knowledge that their ill condition is being used as a bait to trick people. Instead, once such posts gather enough likes and shares, the creators would then be able to use their page to target a larger group of audience, with the sheer intention of siphoning money or gathering data.
What you should do
Do not respond to such posts by liking, sharing, commenting or clicking on them. Alert other members in your group to do the same.
If you are aware of any other malicious acts besides the above listed 5 internet scams running on Facebook, do let us know & we’ll write about it for all our readers to know about it.