Facebook Friend or Fraudulent Foe?

Social media is a great way to stay in contact with friends and family members. You can share pictures, like and comment on statuses and even send private messages back and forth. However, you can’t trust every profile you see. Keep an eye out for these common ways that hackers and other “bad guys” try to use Facebook friends to trick you.

Phone showing Facebook Friending Options
Fishy Friend Request

Some scammers steal a person’s name and profile picture to create a scam account on Facebook, then send requests to the initial person’s friends list. If you receive a friend request from someone you are already friends with, don’t immediately click, “Friend.” Reach out to that person directly through text, call, etc. and confirm whether or not it is their actual account.

Misleading Messages

Other times, scammers will use these accounts to send private messages. These messages can range from “Hi, how are you doing,” to “I’m in trouble and need you to send money.” If you receive a message from a friend that seems incredibly out of the ordinary, or Messenger states “You are not friends with this person. Do you want to accept this message?” Stop. Reach out to this person through something other than Facebook, and confirm it’s them before responding on Messenger.

Peculiar Posts

Another thing scammers will do is post to someone’s wall or in a Facebook group. Some of the latest scams involve people being tagged in a post that states, “I can’t believe he is gone,” or a post in a group stating, “I have jobs available.” Do not like, click or comment on these posts, or any links associated with them.

Harmful Hackers

Lastly, be aware of posts that may show your friend’s page has been hacked. These posts can look like ‘get rich quick’ schemes, job postings or reposting something that is completely out of the ordinary for your friend. If you see this, ignore the post completely – no liking, commenting, etc – and reach out to your friend to make them aware that they have suspicious activity on their page.

Overall, if you see something on Facebook – or any social media platform – that a friend of yours wouldn’t normally say or share, don’t interact with the post or message. Scammers are tricky and will try to use these to hack your account, gaining access to your personal information. Don’t allow them the opportunity.

For more information on how to keep yourself cyber-safe, please visit https://unisonbank.com/security-tips.