Nowadays, news about people falling prey to Facebook hack, spams, scams and hoaxes are increasing significantly. Hackers are coming up with new social engineering techniques to trick users and get access to their account and personal information. Even after people are being educated of the danger lurking in Facebook, yet hoaxes and spams are spreading at an alarming rate.
What is Facebook scam?
Facebook scam is actually a post or a page which is developed to trick the users and instantly spread from one personal network to another. Majority of Facebook scams are designed to perform identity theft or spread malicious malware which can leak personal information of the target using remote spy tools. Through Facebook scam, hackers can have financial gain; the more users who like and share the post, the more money hackers will make.
The main intention of scam pages is to make the users click the like button, share the post or comment on it. Hackers design scam post in such a way that it attracts users’ curiosity, compassion and greed. To get the attention of users, hackers create post containing charity or a sick child so that sympathy works out and people will starting liking and sharing the post.
The commonly seen Facebook scam includes the picture of a sick child with a caption Facebook will donate $1 for each like and share. Users who are unaware of this hoax will like and share the post just because of humanity. Hackers are taking advantage of this sympathy & humanity to fraud users in Facebook.
Once the page receives popularity and consist of enough “likes”, they will find a buyer to sell the page and change the page details to use it for business or marketing purpose. Since it got high-reach, the products or services you market through them starts to appear prominently in the users feed. In today’s online market, pages can be sold out for hundreds or thousands of dollars based on the likes and reach.
Commonly found Facebook scams include:
- Giveaways where the hackers announced attractive prizes and gift cards.
- Sympathy related posts like child abduction, child treatment etc.
- Product giveaways
- Post that include “Like and see what happens”
- Unnecessary warning post
- Fake contests that which promises attractive prize money.
Facebook scam can come in any form; it comes as post, images, app etc. To make the content more realistic, images are used. Contents with images tend to receive more publicity. Basically Facebook scams or hoax does not cause any damage or threat to your account, so it is often referred to as “friendly hacks”.
Facebook uses Edgerank algorithm to rate a post or user in Facebook. When you try to get more engagement for a post in short time, then you will be ranked higher as per Edgerank. So when you spread such scams, you will get easily recognized by Edgerank and it will gain more Facebook traction.
Post hacking criteria
If you are a victim of Facebook hack, there are substantial amount of risk that you are exposed to. Let us discuss some of the threats based on the extent of access gained by the hackers.
Credit card fraud
If you have provided credit card information in Facebook, then probably it may be accessed by the hackers. Most of the credit card dealers follow PCI-DSS guidelines but there are other dealers who do not follow strict security measures. The risk factor here is that the hackers can decrypt your credit card details to use them or sell them.
As a precautionary step, regularly check the credit card statements and if you find any suspicious transactions, immediately inform the card dealer.
When you have provided more personal information in your Facebook account, then there are possibilities the hackers could access them and use them for their benefit. They could impersonate you and reach out to your friends and family for money or any other use.
In this case, similar to credit card fraud, you should check your daily transactions and connect with your friends to know whether someone has contacted them pretending to be you.
Online compromise Once a hacker compromises your account, he will change the username and password according to his wish. The problem is that if you have the same passwords for different services like Hotmail, Gmail etc. he will also compromise them. To prevent this from happening it is important you keep different passwords for different accounts. Keep passwords which are strong and cannot be guessed easil