There’s a very nasty scam going around on Facebook that seems to be on the increase!
A friend of yours messages/P.M’s you on Facebook, and after asking after your health starts to talk to you about winning lots of money, $50,000.00, in one example. If you keep chatting with them you could be persuaded to click a link that will scam you out of yours!
This is done through what is called social engineering. Your friend’s Facebook account has been copied to look real, and then their friends list has been targeted via private message to try and get money out of them. In one case I know of, the scammer had gone to incredible lengths downloading and uploading the exact same profile pics and cover pics and even copied posts, even liked the same things and pages.
I cannot stress how important it is for you to now protect your Facebook profile to such a degree that a scammer cannot find enough information about you to impersonate you.
Most people don’t know that you can, and should, hide your friends list on Facebook. To prevent this type of scam you must hide your friends list, even from your friends. There is really no need for your friends to know who you are friends with on Facebook, and hiding it, and your other personal details won’t effect your use or enjoyment of Facebook at all.
Without access to your Facebook friends list your Facebook profile is useless to a scammer. An open public friends list is absolute GOLD for a scammer it’s like having access to your personal address book, and most Facebook users friends lists are public by default, unless you have worked out how to hide it. Unless you keep your profile details hidden from public view, all except for your profile picture and cover pic (which can’t be hidden) scammers can pretend to be you, and through your connections and what they know about you and your friends through your public posts, can make their messages seem quite believable, if they have the talent. Some scammers will even go to the extent of friending your friends pretending that you have a new or second account.
This Scam Is On The Rise!
Three weeks ago a client of mine had this happen to their Facebook account, her identity was stolen and her friends list was messaged by a scammer. She called me, and I went over and worked with her to set her Facebook profile to it’s most private settings, and… hid her friends list. Her account is no longer useful to a scammer.
Last night another friend on Facebook announced that she had also had a friend messaging her with the surprise news about a huge windfall…and other friend of hers commented they had also been approached by the same fake account of their mutual friend. THIS IS HAPPENING AND WILL GET WORSE!
What to do?
If you get any of these type of suspicious messages, contact your friend who’s account has been copied and report the impersonating profile for spam or abuse. To do that go to the fake profile and click the drop down menu next to the “message” tab, click Report/block….
Then warn your friend that her/his account was copied and impersonated, and make sure your friend sets all their information including their friends list to private. They then need to inform their friends list that their account profile has been impersonated incase it happens again.
To protect their account they must follow both the video’s at the bottom of this post, there are many settings on Facebook that are not obvious to the untrained eye, and these must be deactivated/activated for them to have a truly private profile.
In the two videos below I also show you how to tell, with the click of a button, if your profile is totally protected and truly private. If you don’t set these privacy settings correctly you could still have your identity stolen.
This is not the first scam I’ve seen like this, it won’t be the last. Once scammers have a few people fall for this type of fraud they keep going, and will try all sorts of ways to con people into clicking links and giving away their details, access to their bank accounts and more. You might get messages through Facebook, emails that seem to come from friends, like the “stranded in the Philippines” types and more.
Protect Your Facebook Account!
Make sure your profile is protected! Follow the step by steps in the video’s below. Both have captions if you need them. Make sure your friends are aware of this, don’t get scammed!
Have you come across this one?
Happy to take questions if you have any in comments!
Hide Your Personal Details like your age, location, likes, friends, posts and more from public view!
Advanced Privacy Settings For Facebook Profiles!
Leonie Presents Cyber Safety Talks for schools, business, and community groups.