What the Tech? Facebook scammers - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Facebook scammers

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What's the best way to find out how a scam works? You talk to a scammer. That's what I did on Facebook when I received a friend request from someone I knew was already friends with me.

This happens to everyone frequently but people still accept those requests without much thought. If you've ever checked the profile for one of those accounts you might find the scammer has spoofed the entire Facebook profile. It isn't very difficult to do.

Scammers often pick a Facebook user at random or from a list of people who are friends with someone who's account has already been spoofed. They'll download the victims profile picture and use it to create a new profile. Facebook only requires an email address for a new account and scammers can easily get a new email address from Google, Yahoo or some other sites.

Once the account is set up, the scammer might go so far as to copy and paste photos and posts from the victim's page and send all of their friends a new friend request.

I received a friend request from a relative, aunt Nellie. She and I were already friends on Facebook so I knew this was from a scammer. I accepted it anyway so that I could see what they were going to do with me. Not long after I accepted the request did I get a notification that 'aunt Nellie" had sent me a message through Facebook Messenger. Knowing still it was a scammer I started chatting with her.

After a quick 'hello, how are you?' message the scammer told me she had just won $25,000 from a government grant and wanted to make sure I had received mine. When I messaged back she said she saw my name on the winner's list.

Ha! I told her I didn't know anything about it and she suggested I send a message to a guy who could send me the money, all I needed to do was pay for the shipping. She then sent me a link to click.

Carrying on the conversation I told her that I was skeptical it was really her and asked for her son's name to verify. Apparently the scammer looked through my aunt's real Facebook profile and found someone with the same last name and told me it was Steve.

After a few more questions, she told me she wouldn't answer 'no more questions' and to 'f&$* off".

Scams work this way on Facebook. The bad guy sends a link to a website that contains malware or ransomware. The victim clicks on it and the malware gets installed on their computer. Scammers are using Facebook because that's where most people are and because it's easy peasy to trick someone into accepting a friend request.

Be aware of this scam. Before accepting a friend request check to see if you're already Facebook friends. If you are, it's likely a spoofed page being run by the scammer.

Do not click on a website link they send you. Report it to Facebook and notify the friend that their profile has been hacked. By accepting the friendship, your account could be the next one that's spoofed.

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