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Category: SocialMedia

Facebook: The New Frontier Fraud?

Written on March 20, 2011 by R. Depp

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Have you been getting Facebook wall posts and messages asking you to click links or reply with personal info? Be careful before you click anything – if you think it’s a scam, it probably is.

Nowadays, crooks use when they want to get into your bank account. They post seemingly innocent messages getting unsuspicious users fooled, while passing on the scam at the same time.

According to Blue Coat, an company that does yearly reports on web threats, Facebook is the “new frontier fraud”. They say that next to porn and software-sharing sites, social networks like Facebook has become one of “the most treacherous web terrains.”

The Internet security firm also says that it is the user themselves that make the social networking sites vulnerable to these kinds of fraud. The reason: people use similar passwords for all their accounts. Blue Coat’s product marketing head Tom Clare says “Crooks understand that most users use the same password for everything.”

“If they can get your user credentials for your Facebook account, there’s a good chance that they have the password for your bank account,” he added.

Got different passwords for Facebook and your bank accounts? The crooks have their ways. Kathy Kristof of CBS  Money Watch shares some examples of attempts that may seem like Facebook games and widgets, but are just some of the ways hackers use to get clues to your passwords:

1. Who knows you best?

The message reads:

Can you do this? My middle name __________, my age ___, my favorite soda _______, my birthday ___/___/___, whose the love of my life ______, my best friend _____, my favorite color ______, my eye color _______, my hair color ______ my favorite food ________ and my mom’s name __________. Put this as your status and see who knows you best.

See just how many of these are similar with what your bank asks to verify your identity? Post this as your status and everyone, (including the crooks) will know you well enough to make an attempt.

2. Your friend [Name here] just answered a question about you!

Click on this link and you will see ‘21 Questions is requesting permission to … (a) access your name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, friends and any other information shared with everyone … (b) send you email … (c) post to your wall … and … (d) access your data any time … regardless of whether or not you’re using their application.’

Once you’ve answered the questions, there’s no taking the info back, plus there’s no reference to how you can stop them from future access to your data in their “terms and conditions.” Worse, it appears that to “unlock” the answer in your friend’s post, you need to answer a bunch of questions about your other friends and violate their privacy too.

3. LOL. Look at the video I found of you!

How does this one work? It’s actually a subtle attempt to install on your computer. This can track your computer keystrokes and record your sign-in and password information with all of your online accounts. Click this link and it will ask to upgrade your video player to see the clip. Hit the “upgrade” button, and it opens your computer to the crooks, who ship in their software. Up-to-date security software should stop the download. If you don’t have that, watch out.

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