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Avoiding Facebook Scams

Avoiding Facebook Scams - The Beacon

03-2015

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By: Susan

Avoiding Facebook Scams

Recently, the Council of Better Business Bureaus provided some information on avoiding Facebook scams. With more than a billion users, Facebook is by far the most popular social media network on the internet, making it a great tool for connecting, but also an easy target for scammers.

For this reason, the CBBB chose to share some important tips to avoid Facebook scams, courtesy of Komando.com.

How are Facebook Scams Different?

Unlike robocalls or other attempts at consumer fraud, scams on Facebook can affect a group of accounts very quickly, like a virus. The results can range from a harmless hoax to very serious consequences, like identity theft and financial loss. For this reason, the 6 tips we share today are very important.

6 Tips for Avoiding Facebook Scams:

1. Avoid “Free” Offers – Any posts offering free items or merchandise may be trying to lure you into providing personal information. An example might be an offer for a free gift card or cell phone, or drawing for these items, if you fill out a survey. Avoid these type offers and always do your shopping at reputable sites and businesses.

2. Viral Videos – These can be very tempting, especially when they appear to be shared by friends and family. Some viral videos may be shared from shady websites though, that require you to install programs ridden with malware. If your curiosity has the best of you, look for the video on YouTube or Vimeo instead.

3. Customizing Your Profile – While Facebook lets you customize your profile page in a number of different ways, it doesn’t allow you change colors or layouts. Don’t buy into any offers claiming that anyone can make these changes for you and never allow others to access your Facebook account.

4. Who Viewed Your Profile Posts- No, Facebook has made it clear several times that there is no way for any application to show you who has visited your profile. Same for seeing who’s deleted you. Avoid claims from anyone who tells you otherwise.

5. Celebrity Scams- It’s highly unlikely that a celebrity will add anyone on Facebook with the purpose of proposing job offers. If someone famous apparently adds you on Facebook and invites you to send over your money, it’s time to report the account!

6. Suspicious Friend Requests – If you receive a friend request from someone you don’t know or someone you are already friends with, beware. Take a few moments to look over the profile and verify that account belong to a real person, not a scammer. Hackers have stolen profile pictures and copied information in hopes of reaching Facebook contacts to commit fraud. If you suspect a fraudulent account, report it to Facebook.

To learn more about this article and the tips above, consumers can visit Komando.com and type “Facebook Scams” into the search box. For more tips from your BBB® you can visit bbb.org/Evansville.

While the BBB endeavors to provide accurate information to the public, changes in the law, facts or circumstances may have occurred since the foregoing was posted. The BBB recommends doing independent research and consulting professional advisors concerning a particular situation.

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Susan

Susan is Director of Media Relations for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau. She is a contributor to the blog as well as to the online News Center, found at bbb.org/evansville. Susan also helps to produce an annual accredited business recognition banquet.