Recently a message circulated on Facebook that declared its latest privacy report had been made official. According to the story, members of the social media group would have to post a “legal notice” to keep the status of their information private. If you didn’t paste the message on your page, it would cost $5.99 to keep your page private.
It must be true if it’s posted on the Internet, right?
Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities says that members own their page’s content and information, and can use privacy and app settings to determine how it is shared. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t scammers out there trying to take your money or your identity.
Since Facebook is a huge, well-stocked world for con artists to go phishing, let’s look over five of the popular favorite scams that turn up on Facebook on a regular basis.
1.) Guess who viewed your profile.
In this gimmick, the crooks tug on your curiosity factor. A message like the above claims they can tell you how many people are looking at your profile page, but Facebook doesn’t allow access to that information. The application will actually install some kind of virus on your computer.
2.) Winning $1 million from the lottery and other prize winnings.
A recent scam has said that the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries were giving away $1 million prizes to a limited number of players. Players were required to share the page with the message, send, select five groups to receive the page, and click send.
This scam is tied in with other long-running prize giveaways. You might be going to Disneyland, or you might win something smaller, like electronics or gift cards. But it’s all good for the criminal element as long as you send in handling costs that will release your prize.
3.) Identity theft
Crooks can use hacking, cloning, or even information gained from a friend’s account to try to steal your identity. Then they might claim to be a “friend of a friend,” and get someone to unintentionally install malware or another virus on your PC.
4.) Celebrity deaths, or sex tapes.
There is a certain section of our population who have a need for the latest in pop culture, and scam artists are looking for them. According to the scam, there will be a link provided that will let you download a Rihanna sex video. Except there won’t be one. And there may be adware or malware.
5.) The Nigerian Prince.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention perhaps the pioneer in Internet scamming: the tale of the Nigerian prince. Our wealthy friend who we’ve never met needs our help in transferring money from Nigerian banks that had been placed there from over-inflated military contracts or something. And we’re the only one who can help them. In return we would receive about $21 million or so.
Of course, we would have to wire them about $5,000 or more just to have that money released. Just a drop in the bucket compared to $21 million, right?
No. Facebook’s Statement says that they can’t guarantee your safety. So remember, you get what you pay for. To this point Facebook has been free, and if you have any fears, you can always close your account. Pay attention to your privacy settings, and if the scammer’s offer looks to good to be true, it is.