Thumbs down
Facebook is rife with scams for phony grants, jobs and things like a "thumbs down" button. Photo Credit: comedy_nose/Flickr.com/CC-BY-SA

Facebook is coming to be known for having a growing number of scams and other online dangers. Facebook investor scams are becoming more common, along with many other dangers.

Beware solicitation on Facebook

According to MSNBC, an Ohio woman named Edythe Schumacher saw a post from her sister, saying that she could get a government grant if she applied for one. The ad told her to get in touch with a police sergeant, who told Schumacher to wire a $2,000 upfront payment to him via Western Union, and she would get a $500,000 grant. She wired the money and discovered that the grant didn’t exist. She had been bilked. Schumacher filed a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Investment fraud on Facebook is attracting attention from state governments. Attorney General Beau Biden of Delaware, son of vice president Joe Biden, recently issued a warning to Facebook-using Delawareans to watch for investment scams on the site, according to Delaware Online. A similar notice was also given by the Attorney General of Alabama earlier this month, according to AL.com, a website for several Alabama newspapers.

Careful what you click on

Another type of Facebook scam is called “like-jacking.” The trick is that a person will post a video or link to a particular website, that other Facebook users will click on to see the video or read the story. The link takes them to a fake website, and clicking the video to start it will automatically “like” the same video or like on the user’s Facebook profile, without notifying them.

Two recent “like-jacking” scams, according to ZDnet, include a video titled “Lady Gaga found dead in hotel room” and “Man in wheelchair falls down elevator shaft.” Such scams can spread malware and open users to identity theft. Security software company Symantec, according to ZDnet, estimates that 15 percent of all videos posted on Facebook are attempts at “like-jacking.”

Chain mail and apps are the devil’s workshop

Many scams on social media sites involve “chain mail” type messages. For instance, according to BusinessInsider, there was the “Bin Laden dead picture” scam and 9/11 commemoration article or video scams around the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Another problem area is Facebook applications. Fraudsters will upload an application promising to perform a function, and if a person allows it access, their information will be mined for data and passwords can be stolen.

One of the most popular is “Facebook stalker” apps, or a program that pledges to show “who has been checking out your profile” and, according to About.com, installing the app will result in a program being granted access to your account that will mine your data. Another popular one, according to MSNBC, was the “dislike button.” Strange programs will often result in spam messages being posted through a person’s account and leave that user at risk for identity theft.

Sources

MSNBC: http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/09/27/7999343-i-thought-it-was-my-sister-woman-loses-2000-to-facebook-scam

Delaware Online: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20110921/NEWS/110921035/AG-Biden-warns-scams-social-networking-sites?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

AL.com: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2011/09/securities_agency_targets_soci.html

ZDnet on Lady Gaga dead scam: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/breaking-lady-gaga-found-dead-in-hotel-room-facebook-scam/3816

ZDnet on Likejacking scams: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/symantec-finds-15-of-facebook-videos-are-likejacking-attacks/3316

About.com: http://urbanlegends.about.com/b/2011/02/05/facebook-stalker-apps-are-scams.htm

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38726088/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/facebook-dislike-button-too-good-be-true/#.ToOLcGWP-_0

 

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