Have you been scammed on Facebook?

Facebook screenshot for the Facebook Scam Blog Post

Look Out For Facebook Scams

Last week, I got a Facebook request from a woman that I used to work with. The Problem is, I could have sworn that we were already friends. Before I clicked accept, I looked at the page. 10 posts but all within an hour, 15 friends total and only 1 that is mutual. My hunch was right, it was a common Facebook cloning scam.

You might have seen it but wonder how it works and what they are doing. The way it works is simple. Cyber-crooks snag a photo of you, usually right from your own profile page, poach any information you’ve made public (although the ones I see are much too lazy for this step), then reach out to all your real friends and family. Once anyone you actually know accepts the Fakebook-fakes’ friend request or engages with them on Messenger, the scammers typically make a play for money, personal info, or even try to infect your computer or phone with malware.

Within minutes of accepting this friend, you might get a message saying“ click this link to see a great YouTube video you’re in.”  If you have clicked the link, though, it could have infected your computer with malware or a virus, logged your passwords, and given hackers the fast track to your bank account, email, or store accounts. But if you didn’t click the link, there is no such thing as magical hackers that can do anything they please by merely being accepted as a friend on Facebook. Friend requests can initiate a scam but they still require the victim to take further actions, such as giving away too much information, or by visiting a dangerous website.

If you do get a fake friend, be sure to block, report, and warn your friends. Facebook isn’t playing around with these thieves and is cracking down.  From the scammer’s main Facebook profile page, you can click the little “more” icon (three little dots in a row) next to their profile picture and then select “Report.” A little menu pops up asking you what you want to report, so select “Report this Profile.” Once you do this, Facebook will know to look at the account and take any actions needed. After you’ve reported, click that little “more” icon again and select “Block” to remove the account from your life forever.

It is great to expand your network and make new friends, especially when you are building your business, but make sure you are taking an extra minute or two to make sure this is a person you could be friends with on or off line.

Has this happened to you? Share your experience or offer additional tips in the comments below!