10 most dangerous Facebook Scams

Twenty percent of the world’s population is “on” Facebook—that’s well over a billion people.

14DTop 10 Most Popular Facebook Scams

  1. Profile visitor stats. It’s all about vanity. It doesn’t take long for any new Facebook user to see an ad offering to reveal how many people are viewing your profile. You can even find out who’s viewing. It must make a lot of FB users feel validated to know how many people are viewing them and just whom, because this scam comes in at the top.

    Is it really that important to know how many people are viewing your profile? Even if your self-worth depends on this information, Facebook can’t provide it. These ads are scams by hackers.

  2. Rihanna sex tape. What a sorry life someone must be leading to be lured into clicking a link that promises a video of a recording star having sex. Don’t click on any Rihanna sex tape link, because the only intimacy you’ll ultimately witness is a hacker getting into your computer.
  3. Change your profile color. Don’t click on anything that relates to changing your FB profile color. Facebook is blue. Get over it. You’ll never get red, purple, pink, black, grey, white, red, orange or brownish-magenta. Forget it. Deal. If you see this offering in your news feed, ignore it. It’s a scam.
  4. Free Facebook tee shirt. Though this offering seems quite innocuous, anyone who never rushes to click things will realize that this can’t possibly be legitimate. Do you realize how much a billion tee shirts cost? Even if you don’t know that one-fifth the world’s population uses Facebook, you should know that an enormous number of people use it and they aren’t getting a t-shirt.
    1. Where would Facebook get the money to 1) produce all those tee shirts (even if one-tenth of FB users wanted one, that’s still a LOT of money), and 2) mail the shirts out, and 3) pay reams of people to package the shirts and address the packages? People, THINK before you click!
  5. See your top 10 Facebook stalkers. This is just so funny, how can anyone take it seriously and be lured into clicking it?
  6. Free giveaways. It’s cliché time: Nothing’s free in this world—certainly not on Facebook. End of story.
  7. See if a friend has deleted you. This, too, sounds suspicious. And besides, is it really that important if a “friend” has deleted you? Do you even personally know every individual who has ever friended you? This feature does not exist. You’re better off pretending that nobody would ever want to delete you because you’re so special! But actually, there are plug-ins available that perform this function, but still, stay away.
  8. Find out who viewed your profile. Again, here’s a scam that works well on people who have too much time on their hands. This function doesn’t exist on Facebook.
  9. Just changed my Facebook theme and it’s rad! Ignore this at all costs.
  10. Tragedy of the day. Whenever there is something horrific going on such as Mother Nature getting all murderous or some manmade disaster or even a celebrity dying, you can be sure Facebook scammers are on top of the breaking news with a “video” or “photo” that simply isn’t. Just don’t click it.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.

Beware of Flight MH17 Facebook Scams

How low can scammers go? The latest is phony Facebook profiles that use identities of deceased victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17—claiming their credit cards were stolen from the crash debris.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-identity-theft-red-words-binary-code-computer-monitor-image39907813“Death hunters,” says Ukrainian MP Anton Gerashchenko on his Facebook page, are collecting jewels, cash and credit cards off of the victims. His post urges victims’ relatives to “freeze their credit cards, so that they won’t lose their assets to terrorists!”

The Dutch Banking Association assured next-of-kin that they’d be compensated for the fallout of credit card theft.

Journalist Phil Williams was at the crash site and pointed out that it was obvious that wallets and handbags had been stolen. Just about all the handbags had been opened, he reports. Looting is apparent, he says.

Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, used the term “utterly disgusting” to describe how the rebels had treated the corpses.

But beyond the site is even more alarming activity: fake Facebook accounts. At least five phony FB accounts have been set up in the names of deceased Australians—including three kids. Facebook has since shut down the pages.

The pages provided a link to a video claiming to reveal footage of the airliner’s crash. However, users instead were directed to a website full of pop-up ads for fishy-looking services. The lure to this site was a malicious link tagline: “Video Camera Caught the moment plane MH17 Crashed over Ukraine. Watch here the video of Crash.”

You can imagine how many people—not necessarily next-of-kin, took the bait and made the click. Though these particular fraudulent pages were closed down, this doesn’t mean more won’t appear.

Is this common after a disaster?

It seems to be more common, as criminals are capitalizing on current events to perpetrate scams generally within a 24-48 hour period.

Tips for spotting these scams for consumers in general:

Thinking before you click, doing research and not being so impulsive will keep consumers from being baited by scammy links, titles and stories.

Tips for family members of the deceased:

They should cancel credit cards, create fraud alerts through their country’s credit bureaus, and once death certificates are obtained they need to submit them to the credit bureaus. Otherwise set up Google alerts with the decedents’’ names to monitor any chatter on social sites that may turn up their likeness in a stolen social media identity theft case.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Hackproof your facebook account

With over one billion people connected to Facebook, we have to assume that many of them are criminals. (Criminals are people with friends too!) But the criminals we need to be concerned about are the ones who create all kinds of scams designed to do everything from getting us to open our wallets to clicking links so we enter our personal information that lets them infect our devices.

4DHere’s some insight as to what they may do to get access to you and your account:

Phishing: Emails coming into your inbox right now may in fact be coming from Facebook because by default, you allow that contact in your notifications settings. The problem is that at any time, scammers can duplicate these same emails and you may never know what’s real and what’s fake.

  • Never click links in Facebook emails. Instead, simply log in via your favorites menu or use a password manager. Anything you need to do is right there in your notifications menu.
  • Turn off email notifications. Do you really need 20 emails a day telling you that someone just liked or commented on what you posted? Seriously? Go feed the homeless if you have that much time on your hands.
  • Stay out of your spam folders. Most internet service providers and email providers to a pretty good job of filtering out spam and phishing emails. But if you go into spam and start clicking away, you’ll get yourself in trouble.

facebookInfected links: Criminals know how to get your attention to entice you to click links. They create copy that is supposed to elicit emotional responses that send you deep into their rabbit hole. This status update is a perfect example of someone who is now infected because the user probably clicked on this and is now sharing it with everyone else, just like a virus. Everything about this screams CLICK ME!

  • Don’t mindlessly click links simply because you need to know what they’re going to show you. Be conscious about scams and fraud, and know scammers are paying attention.
  • Keep your browsers up to date, as well as your antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall.

Wireless hacks: Whenever using a free WiFi connection, there is always the possibility your device, its data and your accounts can be compromised. Free WiFi is not secure; it has no encryption, and your data is right there for criminals to sniff.

  • Set up encryption on your home or office router. At a minimum, use WPA or WPA2 encryption to secure your data.
  • Use a VPN (virtual private network) such as Hotspot Shield VPN that locks down and encrypts your wireless communications.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Researcher Proves Your Friend Isn’t Your Friend

I’ve said numerous times that there’s too much trust in the Facebook world. People have entirely dropped their sense of cynicism when logged on. Apparently, they see no reason to distrust. Generally, your “friends” are people who you “know, like and trust.” In this world, your guard is as down as it will ever be. You can be in the safety of your own home or office, hanging with people from all over the world, in big cities and little towns, and never feel that you have to watch your back.

Computerworld reports, “Hundreds of people in the information security, military and intelligence fields recently found themselves with egg on their faces after sharing personal information with a fictitious Navy cyberthreat analyst named ‘Robin Sage,’ whose profile on prominent social networking sites was created by a security researcher to illustrate the risks of social networking.”

Apparently, one of the easiest ways to gain acceptance as a trusted colleague is to be an attractive woman. I recently wrote about “Sandra Appiah,” a curvy lady who sent me a friend request. She had already friended two of my buddies, who accepted because they already had two friends in common. She had posted questionable photos of herself. Red flag? But my buds didn’t seem to see it the way I did.

The security researcher set up profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. “Then he established connections with some 300 men and women from the U.S. military, intelligence agencies, information security companies and government contractors.”

Steve Stasiukonis, another ethical hacker, took it to the next level. He used a similar technique and, with permission, infiltrated a company’s network to test their security. By creating a group on Facebook, he was able to access employees’ profiles.

He set up his own employee persona with a fake company badge, business cards, a shirt embroidered with the company logo, and a laptop. “Upon entering the building, he was immediately greeted by reception. Then displayed fake credentials and immediately began ranting about the perils of his journey and how important it was for him to get a place to check his email and use a restroom. Within in seconds, he was provided a place to sit, connection to the Internet, and a 24×7 card access key to the building.”

Social media can and is being used as a smokescreen. The idea behind social media is that we are social creatures that thrive in community and want to connect. The problem is that this ideal is based on the mindset that we are all sheep and there are no wolves.

When mama told you to not talk to strangers, there was wisdom in that advice. When you friend people who you don’t know, you are friending a stranger and going against moms advice.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses hackers hacking social media on Fox Boston. (Disclosures)

What is that Facebook “Friends” Motivation?

Sandra Appiah is a curvy lady who wants to friend me. She friended two of my buddies and apparently they accepted because they showed as “2 Friends in Common”. I never automatically friend anyone, so I contacted each bud and neither knew who she was. Go figure.

What got my attention besides the fact that I don’t know her was that she had photos on her page on a bed, scantily clad with belts and Playboy bunny stuff in the room. Red flag anyone? But to my buds, they didn’t seem to see it the way I did.

I sent here a note, “Hi! Where did you learn of me?”

And “her” response: “I am simply online looking for the Love of my life….someone to make my heart skip a beat…shake my whole being. A fairy tale that lasts a life time. Someone to adore and cherish….want to look at his face in the morning. That! A Man who is going to show me true love and passion. Respectful and serious intentions for a long relations and marriage. Trust is everything, honesty. Someone who I can share my day with and hold in my arms forever. THANKS HAVE A NICE DAY I HOPE YOU REPLY ME”

When she contacted me she had 12 friends. Now she has 18. All “dumb” dudes that have no idea that “she” is a scammer in an internet café in Nigeria. Why would anyone facilitate a scam by providing this scammer legitimacy by friending them?

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing social media Facebook scammers on CNN. Disclosures.