Email and Facebook Accounts continue to be bombarded with scams. They don’t affect most people, but there is that usual percentage who don’t heed the warnings that are out there and will fall prey to them. One of the new scams uses Facebook information for personalized spam.
The scam works this way. You receive an email that appears to be sent by a friend or family member. Since it’s personalized, it will address you by name, but the content will appear strange. Most of the time, it is just a link to a website and if you click on it, it will automatically download malware or a virus to your computer. They are betting that you will click on a link sent by a “friend” and not just one randomly sent to you.
So, how do these “scammers” (I am using that politically correct term very lightly) get your information? They find it through Facebook and other social media accounts. Some of these people will set up fake accounts and then will send out friend requests. When people accept the request, bam, they got you. They can now view you, your friend’s information and worse, personal and contact information.
Other scammers rely on social media users that don’t lock down their security settings. Remember, when you first sign up for any social media account, the security settings will be set very low.
Ways to protect you include checking on and upgrading security settings on your social media accounts. Don’t share with or accept strangers as friends. Report scam profiles and other suspicious activity to Facebook. Be very, very careful when using unsecured Wi-Fi.
Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.