Some Internet users might have hundreds, if not thousands of Facebook friends. Yet, how many are legitimate, and how many are scammers? Beware of scammers that takes advantage of your trust (and your wallet!) by hacking your friends' Facebook accounts.
This scam begins with a seemingly harmless message from a Facebook friend. It may seem like you're catching up with an old acquaintance, but the "friend" offers you a deal too good to refuse. All you have to do is provide sensitive financial information, or send one small payment. And that's the catch! According to CBS News, this scam the leads more and more people, especially millennials, to fall victim to these new scams on social media.
This is just one way that scammers are using personal relationships to gain access to financial information - friend scams are happening over the phone as well. With "neighbor spoofing," calls from familiar numbers are not what they seem. Instead, callers create a fake number with the same area code and prefix as yours. Like the Facebook Friend scam, the idea is that you will be more likely to pick up you think a neighbor or a friend is contacting you.
As always, to avoid this and other online scams, exercise precaution when on social media. Even if the user asking for your sensitive financial information is a friend or family member, pause and think before compromising your safety and security. Don't hesitate to reach out to the person through another means of communication to verify their request.
Also, check out Facebook's Help Center for guidelines to deal with hacked Friend accounts and keep your account secure. If you think your Facebook account has been hacked or someone has been using it without your permission, visit this page to secure your account.