Beware Social Networking Scams

businessman-607834_640Fightback Ninja Blog – Beware Social Networking Scams Thursday 171116

There is a rapid growth in the prevalence of social networking scams and the most common ones are listed below.

1.                 Fake Identity

Creating accounts on social networking sites is generally very simple and quick.  Do not trust someone’s name unless you really do know the person.

There are harmless reasons why someone might create a fake identity on social media but more commonly they are used for selling fake items, spam messages and identity theft.

The scammers sometimes pretend to be a real person – they collect information, photograph etc. of someone living and then duplicate it. Don’t trust someone who approaches you online through email or social media unless you can verify they are who they say they are.

2. Viruses, Ransomware and Other Malware

Facebook and some other social networking sites allow for installation of 3rd party APPS. Most of these are harmless but scammers can create these APPS and attempt to have you download them. They may send you a message that appears to be from the site management or from a friend, but the APP may try to steal your identity information, password and/or credit card details.

Do not trust 3rd party APPS unless you are sure they are OK.

3. Identity Theft

Profile pages often contain personal information that is very useful to scammers, such as  your age/birthdate, your location, phone number, email address,  job and family details. Plus your photos.

They might try to build on that by phishing for your log-on password.  “Phishing” means the scammer pretends to be someone you would trust  e.g. a bank or the management of the social media site and tries to get your password etc.

The most common technique is the message through the network that appears to have come from an online buddy, inviting you to check out a new profile page. Clicking the link takes you to a bogus page that asks you to log on “again.” In reality, you’re handing over your confidential password to a scammer.

You can limit the risk of this type of identity theft by not posting too much giveaway detail about yourself on your profile page and watching out for suspicious invitations to view another profile.

Beware of any links that you have clicked that then ask you to sign on again. If you’re already signed on to the network you would not normally be asked to sign in again – be suspicious.

4.         Misuse of Activity Information

You must be careful on what information you publish on social networking sites. It’s good to be open but do realise that some information is a gift to criminals or can lead to future embarrassment.

e.g.1.  I’m off to India for 2 weeks on Tuesday. Have left the dog at Uncles. i.e. your house will be unoccupied for 2 weeks. If your address is accessible anywhere on the Internet then this is a gift to a burglar.

e.g. 2. Just back from last night’s party – was drunk in the gutter and taken in by the Police. See picture taken by friends. This is not so good if you’re going job hunting as prospective employers may read your social networking entries.

e.g. 3. Been snogging Julia again – hope her husband doesn’t find out. He may just do that.

5. Profile Page Hacks

If your password is guessable, then you may find your profile page has been hacked. They can  install invisible code that can be used for malicious purposes. Or they simply use your ID as a platform for spamming.

The key to preventing this type of attack is not only to have a strong password .

Refer to blog post  http://fightback.ninja/how-to-keep-your-passwords-safe/ for details on how to set strong passwords

If your profile or your identity are in any way compromised, you should also inform the site operator. If threats are involved, tell the police.

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