Don’t be fooled into thinking that’s your friend on Facebook
Plenty of people who are connected to the internet are catching up with friends on social media or randomly surfing the web. Unfortunately, so are scammers. They are taking advantage of social networking sites, earning victims’ trust by pretending to be someone they already know and sending out a message or two with COVID-19 news, a fundraising request or perhaps a great deal on a product.
While scrolling through Facebook, a message pops up in Facebook Messenger. It’s your friend, family member, or neighbor. At least it “looks” like them because the profile picture matches. From here, the conversation goes one of two ways. In one version, your “friend” tells you about the most awesome deal they found online, or they want you to view a video. All you must do is select a link, share the good news or simply respond to the message. In some cases, perhaps you want to take part in the offer and are ready to pay a processing fee and tax. Stop and think: would your real friend pass along this type of information?
In another version, the “friend” claims to be raising money for a charity to support emergency personnel, a food bank or some other organization that has really been hit hard by the pandemic. They’ll push for a donation and yet, it sounds suspicious. But the message appears to be coming from someone you know and trust. Or is it?
A third version is circulating where the “friend” believes their account has been ‘hacked’ and to friend them on a new request. Turns out, they were not hacked at all. The profile is publicly visible and copied by a cyber thief who then creates a new profile and is now sending out new friend requests to a bogus account that looks like it’s your friend.
BBB warns everyone before responding to such a request, check that the Facebook profile image is from who it says it is. Or, go the extra step and call, text, or email the friend to see if they really did send it to you.