Facebook scams are still on the rise these days. Internet scammers have been around since the dawn of the worldwide web. Many of us have experienced the devastating effects of being victimized by scammers. Depending on the severity of the loss, the effects can leave you feeling violated for a long time.
The saddest part about being scammed online is that there is little help or recourse for victims of scams. You can file a complaint with the FBI, Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). However, they are overwhelmed and bombarded on a daily basis by reports of new scams.
Like many others, I filed a complaint when I was victimized but haven’t heard anything in response to my complaint. To be honest, I don’t expect to hear anything. I’ve simply chosen to move on and be more cautious in the future.
I wanted to do this post about a recent scam I heard about going around on Facebook. The best thing we can do as a consumer is stay informed and aware that these predators are lurking in every dark corner, waiting to pounce on their next victim.
Be aware of Fraud and Do Your Homework Before Taking Action
There is a scam that is going around on Facebook today where the scammers are contacting users after hacking their account. They claim to be from Facebook and inform the user that they are in violation of some rule.
The scammers begin demanding the user change their account over from a personal page to a fan page, or they demand payment in order to keep the profile page private.
The intent of these scammers is to evoke fear in the victim. Their main goal is to get your personal information such as copies of your personal identification and your credit card information. They will also try immediately to gain access to your computer system.
Always be suspicious when being asked for your personal information. Ask for proof such as names and telephone numbers. Also, request that a letter is sent to you through U.S. mail and email for verification. Scammers will likely try to get around sending this information.
Often when contacted by these kinds of calls, they immediately send your emotions into a tailspin. That’s exactly what the predator wants. Before providing any information, slow down enough to regain control of your emotions.
Then attempt to get their contact information and ask if you can call them back at a later time. This will give you an opportunity to research their information. If it’s a legitimate company representative, they won’t mind you doing your due diligence.
Here is a video of a Facebook user who was recently scammed. I saw this post recently and thought I would post it here as an example.
Internet Scams are Still Alive and Well
I read an article recently that said internet scams are declining but I don’t believe this to be true. I believe they are just becoming more sophisticated. Recently, I received a call from a scammer that claimed to be from Microsoft. They also stated that I had been hacked and the hackers were using my computer to send out porn and doing other illegal activity from my computer.
They stated that they were going to help me solve this issue and that if I didn’t do something right away, I could be in danger of being charged with illegal activity. I asked the person, how would I know that he was who he said he was.
He provided some information about my computer that I later discovered was easy to come by. He provided me a code that he read to me which matched the code on my computer. Some sort of Microsoft software ID.
He then proceeded to tell me that I would need to replace my Microsoft software immediately. The charge was $350 and for that amount, they would clean off my computer and install the new software. I immediately started asking questions that he did not like and he began insulting me and being rude. At that point, I knew I was being scammed.
Always Have a Healthy Dose of Skepticism – Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
The moral of the story is to never give up your skepticism when dealing with people online. Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of friend requests on Facebook but when I go to the profile page, they only have one picture and no activity. These are likely scam artists who are trying to get access to your friend’s list.
Usually, I just delete the request. However, a few times I’ve messaged the person asking why they wanted to friend me and didn’t get a response. It is also a good idea to change your password regularly and be sure to choose one that’s not so easy for hackers to figure out.
Also, Facebook will send you a text message letting you know when a new password has been requested for your account. This is a sign that someone is trying to hack you. If this keeps happening and you have a weak password, I recommend changing it immediately. It is only a matter of time before they figure it out.
Being scammed online is one of the worst feelings in the world. I wrote an article sharing my experience. Click here to read.
I only hope that sharing my experience will help others to be cautious. Always be aware when sharing your personal information online. Also, you may want to think twice about accessing many of the games, quizzes and other apps on Facebook. A large number of these links are how hackers are getting your personal email address and other information.