Last updated on August 30th, 2017
Hello readers, in this article you will find the most useful tips by which you can avoid being a victim of a Facebook scam along with some suggestions to help you get out of it. There are a bunch of Facebook scams, but as you read on the complete article you can help yourself from the varieties of the Facebook scams.
Facebook is, of course, the biggest social platform out there. The figures speak in this aspect, having nearly 1.40 billion monthly active users in the Q1 of 2015. That’s huge! And, it is constantly increasing as you read. Here comes the problem, with a huge amount of users, there comes an online danger with “scams”. It is mostly dangerous and rarely harmless with common scams.
Facebook acts as the best platform for users to be a possible victim of a scam. But, we can’t blame Facebook for it. Facebook is constantly improving users security and also supports Bug Bounty programs to help the online community of experts to help them make it even better and secure. And, when it is evolving at a huge rate, attackers are getting tons of opportunity to execute their messy scams. So, there’s only one way to put a stop to it and that’s awareness! Now, you will get to know 6 things that would help a user to stay away from common as well has intelligent scams.
First thing…(Facebook Games and other Applications)
When you log on to Facebook, do you come across applications to use on-the-web? Like playing the candy crush saga and so on? Well, the popular trusted applications are harmless, but the developers can take advantage of a user through that application.
There’s no doubt that the apps developed for Facebook are good enough to enrich the user experience of the social platform. Some developers make legit and harmless(to have fun) apps, but on the other hand there might be some developers seeking to execute their scams or want to desperately compromise the account for their own advertising benefits.
This happens, when you allow access to an application for the permission it requires to work. Always carefully read the information that the app will be able to access. However, Facebook has allowed the users to choose which information they want to be private, but you never know anything can pop out of the application if you don’t care to read the information that the app asks you to allow, in order to work.
So, it is advisable for you to do a bit research on an app or ask your friends about it.
Second thing…(Money Scams)
Quick money or Get-rich-quick is a common trick that attracts everyone. If you see an app saying that it would make you rich within a few days, but for that they need your Credit card or bank details. Woah! You should stop that app from accessing your information and do not give your bank details to such applications.
If there’s an easy money scheme then it always poses a threat to users. And, most of them are scams and real few are harmless that just want to attract users to monetize their products, but you never get a penny. It is not just a Facebook scam, it exists all over the Internet.
Third thing…(Link Scams)
Large scams are generally carried out through links. Links are a common medium of executing scams. And most often it starts a chain of events by which the link spreads across your profile to all of your friends and so on. So, you should be aware of this thing to prevent a large scam.
When you get a link from a Facebook friend, never trust any link at the first glimpse unless it is a popular link you are acquainted of or a previously visited link. Don’t click on a link just like that, it may compromise your account. Search on the web about the domain, if you are unsure about the link.
Some links are intelligent enough to force you to click on it. Here’s an example: “ Hey! I think I got hold of your private pictures on the Internet. Please remove them as soon as possible! Click here to see and remove the pictures”. In this message, the link could be provided at the starting of the message or in the end. This message may come from a fake account intentionally or even you would get this message from your best friend on Facebook. You may now think that, Why my best-friend would want me to be a victim of online scams? But, probably he/she is unaware of the message that you received!
Yes! That’s right! If your friend has clicked a similar link, then his/her account has been compromised and these messages circulate themselves through messages and tagged posts.
Now, you have to be careful. You may receive similar messages containing a link (even from a trusted account) that persuade you to click on it. So, always make sure that the link is legit by asking the sender whether he/she sent it intentionally, if so, then what’s the purpose of the link and enquire other friends about the link who spend most of their time on the Internet.
If you are using a PC, then your Antivirus product may help in protecting you from malicious links. Well, not all the AV-Products have the ability to protect you. There’s a “Link Scanner” feature on most of the modern Antivirus products which scans every link and tells you whether it is safe to browse or not. It may not be a complete solution, but still it is helpful.
Fourth Thing…( Verification)
Have you observed a blue tick mark on any popular celebrity’s profile/page? Well, it is not necessarily a celebrity’s but it includes popular brands, journalists, public figures, government officials and other important or popular businesses.
You need to remember that there is no way to request the Facebook team to verify your account unless one of your friends is in the Facebook Team with a high level of access. The Facebook team verifies the profiles/pages manually according to the trust factor (considering the likes, followers and information on the profile/page). If you are lucky enough then there’s a possibility that your account gets verified. But that’s too rare. This verification system is only for a selected categories of people and even some of the popular figures/pages have not yet been verified.
So, if you come across someone that tries to explain that he/she can verify your account by giving some information or sending you a link, you should ignore it.
Fifth Thing…(Sign in/ Sign Up)
Linking your Facebook account on other sites to Sign Up quickly is a common practice to users who do not want to waste their time to Sign Up on other important sites. Not all sites are trustworthy. So, you should be careful here too, when you Sign up through social accounts then the website redirects to call API methods and asks for certain permissions to access your profile’s information.
Here’s the important part. You should read the access permissions to decide whether it accesses only the necessary information or asks for permission to private information which you do not want the website to access from your Facebook profile.
That was the Signup process we talked about. Sign in process also poses similar threats to be affected by scams. Undoubtedly Facebook is too popular. So, there’s a possibility that a website looks the same as Facebook with the Sign in fields.
At that point, you should verify the link you are on, If it is https://www.facebook.com or https://www.facebook.com/xyz , then it is the real Facebook. But if it’s something other like faceebook.com (with an extra “e”) or any other name that can possibly trick your brain, then it’s obviously a malicious site.
You may also encounter some online Facebook Sign in forms which promises you to give free access to something if you sign in through the form or just acts as a sign in form, then you should consider ignoring it. It would be better for you to Sign in to Facebook through the valid link only.
Sixth Thing…( Emotional Scams)
Well, this is the powerful mode of executing scams on Facebook. There are lots of users on Facebook and it is almost impossible for the Facebook team to verify their originality unless you report a profile. So, you might have even accepted a friend request from a person whom you don’t know. Here the fellow boys/men get most affected, when a girl (with a beautiful profile pic) sends a friend request. Even the opposite may happen with the girls/women. But, accepting the friend request is not an issue when you have a good privacy setting on your profile.
There’s a possibility of a successful execution of a scam when you trust them more than your real friends. Well, this case is exceptional but has a huge possibility. If you get a message from them that they are in need of your help (mostly financially), then you should get alerted! If a friend normally provides their bank details (legit bank) and asks you to send over a few bucks, that may not be a possible scam.
But, if someone sends you a message that he/she needs $1 million (provided that you are a billionaire), then you shouldn’t make a progress of helping hands online. You should book yourself a flight and reach out to his/her home and ask the local police for verification of the person. And, finally you can help if you want.
Then there comes the most popular emotional scam where usually a person (mostly a girl) needs to have his/her family money back from a bank after her father’s death and only you can help her recover the money( huge amount). And he/she promises you to give a major cut on the money if you help him/her out with the problem.
And, it doesn’t necessarily mean that “they” are the ones sending you messages. These type of messages can even come from your real Facebook friends account when his/her account is compromised.
What should you do when your Facebook account has been compromised?
When you get to know that your Facebook account has been compromised then the first thing you should do, is change the password. And, the new password should be strong enough.
The password should contain a combination of lower case letters, upper case letters, special symbols and numbers. And it should be complex, not like ABC123. Complex like abABC123@!&.
After you have successfully reset the password to a strong combination, you should take a moment to share your story along with the details to your friends through a status to aware your friends about it. And report it to Facebook as soon as possible and persuade your friends to report it too.
If you feel that the scam is a serious deal, then you should report it to the Police (Cyber division).
Hope that helps! Let us know in the comments below about your thoughts on this article.