Scams are all over Facebook. There are stories telling users that Facebook will end on a certain date, miracle diet pills, celebrity sex tapes, and other shady posts. With a little vigilance, though, users can make sure that they’re not continuing the chain. Miranda Perry, staff writer for Scambook, spoke with AllFacebook about ways that people can make sure that they’re not giving away information to scammers or spamming their friends’ News Feeds with malicious links.
Scambook is a complaint-resolution platform where customers can air their grievances and let others know about unscrupulous business practices and identity theft. The company also informs people of scams on social media, using its blog to write about the newest hoaxes that are going viral on Facebook.
Perry shared with AllFacebook some ways that users can protect themselves (and their friends) from Facebook scams.
Consider The Source One of the most common Facebook scams involves links that either infect computers with malware or automatically share content to users’ Timelines. Perry said that by taking a couple of extra seconds to examine not only suspicious links, but the people who shared them, people can protect themselves.
For instance, if a fitness buff friend shares a link showing how she’s lost 30 pounds by using a weird old trick, or if a pastor shares a link purportedly showing Rihanna’s sex tape, odds are extremely high that it’s a scam. Perry said red flags should go up whenever someone shares something to Facebook that seems atypical of their nature. If users truly aren’t sure, Perry recommends calling or contacting that person offline to see if their account has been compromised:
The No. 1 step is just to look at the source and avoid clicking on links or sharing anything on Facebook that seems suspicious. For instance, if you know that your friend is a super-skinny athlete, they are probably not going to be telling you that they’ve just used weight loss pills. If they’re posting that on their Timeline, that’s a pretty good sign that their account has been hacked.
Essentially, if something in your News Feed seems suspicious, it’s best to avoid clicking it and let that user know.