Since scammers are not as successful with email phishing scams as they were before, they are using Facebook to get money. See below the ten main Facebook scams and how to avoid them.
Fake sales sites
One of the most famous scams on Facebook concerns fake sales sites. They manage to simulate in detail the virtual stores, including sections where the victim believes he can follow the delivery stages of the purchased product.
The point is that, even when paying (often in cash), the victim never receives what is bought and, when the victim asks for clarifications, finds out that everything was false.
In order not to fall into this trap, stay tuned to analyze if the site has security certificates, physical establishment data, customer service center and active social networks. If it is an unknown brand, search Google and see the details about it.
Another good suggestion is to search for company complaint platforms available in your country.
The site can even have a Facebook page through which it posts usually sponsored commercials, having fake reviews, most of the cases from fake accounts.
Financial fraud on WhatsApp account, via Facebook ad
Fake profiles on Facebook post comments or posts that hey offer financial help or financial loans, asking the Facebook user to contact the person or company on WhatsApp. Gaining access to their phone number, the person is asked to provide the code received in an SMS–the WhatsApp registration code.
Criminals gain access to a person’s account in that app, clone that account, and once they have access to all the messages exchanged, they contact the victim’s family and friends to report that she has been kidnapped and will only be released before an advance payment, for example.
Another common scam carried out from the cloning of the WhatsApp account is to borrow money from a friend or relative, by depositing it in a bank account.
To avoid going through this, never click on links sent by unknown individuals who are not in your contact list or in groups to which you have just been added and do not know the other members.
Also, if you receive the alleged request for release by an acquaintance, try to remain calm and try to contact him by phone or through people close to her/him. Thus, you do not get carried away by the heat of the moment and do not make unnecessary transfers, deposits or withdrawals that can compromise (and a lot) your financial planning.
There are many commercials on Facebook for products or services. The fraud method can be different for any of these fake ads. Apart from what has already been said, there is a blow to the unauthorized financial transaction.
It can occur both on websites and in applications where you try to make a purchase. At the end of the process the same message always appears indicating that the payment has not been finalized.
Many people do not realize it, but, in fact, with each attempt, the amount is debited from the balance of the credit card or the financial reserve at the bank.
In more serious cases, the card is cloned and the password stolen by criminals who make purchases and bank transactions on your behalf. To avoid falling for this trick, activate your card purchase notifications that will alert you to each new transaction made.
Account verification is a much-desired feature on social media. Public figures and other celebrities on Facebook and Instagram display a blue seal (a check) in their name to let people know that they are legit accounts and not people impersonating them.
Already Twitter finally released their checking accounts to all users, making its symbol attainable check for everyone. The process that was previously done manually, is now automatic to satisfy a large number of users who felt underestimated when their orders were ignored.
To make matters worse for Facebook, the social networking site itself has an account verification system. However, it is not something open to everyone, only celebrities and notable figures are verified precisely because other people could impersonate them in the system
The Facebook scam works pretty simply: the fake profile which seems pretty legit starts sending messages to the victim stating that their profile is compromised or that it has breached the community rules, asking the person to verify their account.
After a series of messages exchanged, like anyone who wants nothing, the scammer explains that it is a free feature to gain security on the account otherwise it will be deleted. After convincing the victim, the scammer sends a link that directs the user to a fake verification site, which promises to protect those involved in the encounter.
Going further, some of these sites provide a kind of verification code for the user to send to the applicant as a confirmation that their identity has been verified. Of course, none of this is real.
By signing up for verification and providing all of its personal and financial data, the fake website warns that the user is also agreeing to subscribe for a trial period to an erotic video and live camera service or other such subscriptions. If the subscriber does not cancel these services, it will be charged.
Scammers earn a commission for each subscription made, which is the main reason for the scam. It is a safe way for the scammers to get money out of the victims pocket, without any manual bank transfer which would be easier to be found by police.
The number of people who have already fallen for this scam remains unclear, but due to the popularity of the sites in question, it is estimated that this number is growing.
Taking advantage of the shifty economic crises, false job vacancies were shared by message application on Facebook. The page provides a link via Facebook Messenger or simply creates a job on their page.
By clicking on the link, the user is prompted to fill in personal information. The next step takes the victim to a new page, where she is instructed to share the ad with ten other friends or ten groups in the application to complete the registration.
By providing personal data, the risk of offline scams has increased, moreover the fake company gain access also to the victims’ close friends and family.
Video with scenes of cruelty: animal cruelty, suffering people and other videos of gloomy content with various atrocities targeted the dark side of the user. Scammers use shocking images with mutilated animals, murders, the suffering of children, torture of women to attract the user.
Although there are not many such frauds, usually Facebook manages to erase these videos this type of fraud is growing at a steady pace, affecting thousands of victims with each new campaign.
Scammers use similar videos to follow links to websites that force you to fill out questionnaires before watching the video, for which they hope to receive a commission for each completed questionnaire. Malicious programs spread in the same way.
Celebrity scams: scandals or fictional reports of the death
The fourth type of Facebook scam is related to the desire of users to keep abreast of the latest news and gossip about various celebrities, for example, about Rihanna or Justin Bieber. Video headlines usually provide shocking news such as celebrity deaths or promise adult content videos.
The main purpose of this fraud is to deceive you and by any means force you to click on a link that will then ask you to update your video player or redirect you to some external source, prompting you to download something that will help you watch the video.
This fraud, designed for your curiosity, is reinforced by trigger words and the names of popular stars. While some videos lead to Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs), such as adware, other videos lead to malware that steals data and turns your computer into a zombie as part of a botnet.
To avoid such fraud, users should be prudent and not forget about common sense. To keep abreast of news about your favorite celebrity, use proven news portals and video resources.
Think before you click on any link or video. If something seems too shocking to be real, then perhaps it is. Try to avoid watching adult videos on social media.
Free sweepstakes, giveaways, gift cards from “Company with any name”!
Fraudulent giveaways and prizes make victims of which are solely due to human greed. Here are some examples of this form of cheating: free trips to amusement parks, receiving a gift card, voucher, or free digital device, for example, the brand new iPad.
Everyone knows the proverb that ‘The lazy one runs more and miser one loses more‘ especially if the offer of a gift looks too attractive. If someone on Facebook offers you a gift card or a voucher for free, if you invite your friends to participate in this promotion too, or if you click on some link, just don’t believe it.
If an user falls into the trap of fake giveaways of gifts, then he runs the risk of downloading a potentially harmful infection. To participate in the giveaway, you may be required to fill out several ‘special bonus‘ offers. Similar promotions are offered at the expense of real spending users.
Scammers receive commissions for each survey, as well as a lot of confidential information, such as username, email address and phone number.
Subscription for an unwanted product
Another variety of the above scam is to fill in the home or work address among the credit card details. This way the victim will receive at home an unwanted product such as a phone book or a leaflet or a product catalog, being paid from the victim’s credit card.
Expansion of the functionality of Facebook
Another popular fraud on Facebook is the proposal to expand the functionality of Facebook itself. Users are supposedly offered additional options (for example, the “Dislike” button) or the ability to make their profile more beautiful through the use of other colors or features.
This fraud is based on the desire of users to improve their use of the social network. As soon as the user decides to take advantage of the proposed improvements to Facebook, cyber-criminals gain access to his profile and can steal important personal data and spread the malware using pages with fake polls.
Never enter your data into seemingly suspicious forms or polls on social networking sites.
As shown, there are many Facebook scams on the internet and more and more criminals behind them diversify not only how they operate, but also how they reach the victim (as is the case with Facebook).
So, follow our tips on how to avoid them, do not disclose your data on the web – which includes social networks – and redouble the security of your computer and your smartphone with a good antivirus.