The audience of Facebook is more than 1.19 billion people, which makes it one of the most popular among scammers. In order not to become a victim of cyber criminals who use this social network, it is very important to be able to instantly identify and confront threats. Since the thoughtless “quick click” can lead to the fact that your account will be drained without you knowing it, and your personal data will simply be stolen. In general, 53% of scammers are aimed specifically at users of social networks.
At the time, researchers conducted a study on Facebook creating test profiles, and 1.900 users accepted a friendship request. After that, the profiles started sending links to “friends” in several stages: first, it was about links on interesting articles, and after three weeks, they sent links to pages with malicious objects (at the same time, researchers made these pages inaccessible or harmless for visiting). The results of the study showed that 97 percent of respondents on Facebook thoughtlessly clicked on links without even checking them for malicious objects. Therefore, it is not surprising that scammers so successfully deceive Facebook users. Scammers will never ask you, “Should we break up?” because it has nothing to do with a real relationship.
What Is the Main Goal of a Scammer?
The key objective is to lure your money or, in other situations, use you for money laundering. So, a fraudster creates a bogus account that will match your interests. They can communicate with you for more than three weeks to establish a trusting relationship. Ultimately, a fraudster will ask you for money in one way or another. They say they are on leave, or they work in another country in terrible conditions, and your small cash gift will make their lives easier. A victim can be asked to cash the sent check, and then to make a bank transfer or send a parcel, as your new interlocutor is working overseas.
Signs of Dating Scam
Your online companion is interested only in money if they do the following things.
- They insist on leaving Facebook and continuation of communication via instant messengers like WhatsApp;
- They confess their love to you too quickly;
- They show you photos that look like photos from glossy magazines;
- They say that they are a citizen of other countries who travels or works abroad;
- They plan to visit you, but the trip will be postponed at the very last moment due to some tragic event;
- They ask for money for various reasons (travel, medical assistance, payment of a bill for a sick child, payment of a visa or other documents, etc.).
How to Protect Yourself?
- Use a reliable and constantly updated antivirus application to block suspicious websites. Antivirus programs will always be essential tools for detecting, blocking and preventing viruses and other malicious objects.
- Check from time to time that you have the latest service packs and the latest Windows security updates. In addition, use the most current version of the Facebook app.
- Observe well-known precautions and think before “double-clicking,” as well as communicating with strangers. Never act thoughtlessly. Therefore, do not click on anything that your contacts share with you.
- Limit the personal information you share on social networking sites, for example, social security number, date of birth, home address, home phone number, or any information about your bank cards.
- Customize various privacy options. Facebook provides its users with the ability to control their own privacy settings. You are not required to use the default settings. Check other settings and figure out how to set your privacy settings.
- Keep a sharp look-out.