CHICAGO, IL – Facebook, with over one billion users, not only is one of the most popular social media platforms, but also offers scammers plenty of opportunities to take advantage of its users. Since the number of Facebook users are increasing, the number of scams are as well. Through Facebook phishing, scammers are acquiring consumers’ usernames, passwords, credit card details and other personal information. These phishing scams occur when users receive phishing links via private inbox, chat messages or Timeline posts. Once the Facebook user clicks on the link, private information is taken by the scammer.
Facebook phishing scams can happen in a variety of different ways, so it can be difficult to recognize them. However, there are several common ones:
- In one scenario, a Facebook user receives a link in a private message from a friend. The link leads the user to a page where the user’s name and password are needed.
- In another type of scam, the Facebook user gets a private inbox message from someone on the Facebook security team, stating that the user has to quickly confirm their account.
- Phishing scams can also found in the Timeline through ads that include links.
“Websites with over one billion users give scammers plenty of opportunities to not only steal users’ information but also to target other users” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Even though Facebook phishing scams can be difficult to recognize, consumers need to be careful with their personal information.”
The BBB offers the following tips to people to recognize and avoid Facebook phishing scams:
- Read messages entirely. If you receive a message asking for your account information, fully read the message that was sent to you. Most people don’t read entire messages that were sent to them, so scammers use this to their advantage.
- Look at the message’s content. When looking at the message you received, be sure to check for a few key things. Check for spelling or grammatical errors. If there are errors, the message was probably written by someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you. Also, check to see if the message urges you to “respond quickly” or “click a link right away.” If this is written, it is probably a scam.
- Check the message sender. Check whether this message comes from a friend, a stranger or from someone saying to be from the website security team. Remember that Facebook security members rarely make contact with users unless the user makes initial contact first.
- Use a safe browser. Activate your browser’s “Safe Browsing” feature. When this feature is used, it will catch most phishing scams for you.
- Never give out personal information. No matter what the message says, never give out any usernames or passwords, no matter how promising the message or link seems.
For more tips and information about Facebook phishing scams, visit www.bbb.org