9 Scary Ways Criminals Use Facebook to Scam and Rob You

Facebook criminalsThis Friday, Facebook will go public in one of the most anticipated IPOs in history. With more than 900 million users, Mark Zuckerberg's expanding social media empire has become a seemingly irreplaceable part of the online experience. Unfortunately, a byproduct of its success is that millions of Americans are far more at risk of falling victim to a number of cyber crimes.

To be sure, cyber crime is nothing new, but the social media revolution has made such crimes much easier to commit. People have "friends" they've never met; they make personal information widely available. And Facebook's hundreds of millions of users are a rich pool of targets.

According to an infographic published earlier this year by ZoneAlarm, a leading Internet security software provider, "roughly 4 million Facebook users experience spam on a daily basis, 20% of Facebook users have been exposed to malware," and Facebook receives 600,000 reports of hijacked log-ins every day.

Hacking problem at Facebook

Malware represents another growing threat for Facebook users, Dr. Kent Seamons, assistant professor in the computer science department at Brigham Young University said. "Hackers get malware on your machine and get tens if not hundreds of thousands of these machines under their control and then they rent them out to spammers and others," Seamons explains.

These rented accounts can then be used to advertise products illicitly or to request money from unsuspecting friends.

Ultimately, all social media sites make it easier for criminals to deceive their victims. According to a study published in Communications of ACM, a journal for computing professionals, the percentage of students that responded to a phishing email increased from 16% to 72% when the email included relevant social information about the target. Quite simple, scams that make it appear that a message comes from a friend make it more likely that the target will respond.

These are nine of the ways criminals use Facebook.

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Companies are not doing themselves any favors when you require anyone to become your facebook friend to get a discount or hear of your offer. If you have one tell us what it is and make facebook an option, but one shouldn't have to join something to become your friend.

August 25 2012 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks for the great article! I also have found social networks review (http://www.pissedconsumer.com/consumer-reviews/social-networks.html) that contained information about scams.. Well, seems like we have to be more careful in social networks..

May 23 2012 at 4:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To the GOP scamming and fraud is good entrepreneurship,

May 17 2012 at 7:40 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

speakin' of criminals--aol has some bs videO report on hanoi jane looking good---this ***** should have been incarcerated for treason.
yeah,i know,it was ALL AN ACCIDENT ....

May 17 2012 at 7:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

And this is why I don't "friend" total strangers...just because you're the friend of a friend, doesn't make you MY friend. The enemy of my enemy is NOT always my friend, either, to paraphrase a common adage. I have an FB page, but seldom go on it - and the only people on my "friends" list are my actual family and friends. If I don't know you personally, it doesn't matter how many other of my FB friends you're friends with...sorry. And those on my list know me, and know I'd never use FB to ask for anything more substantial than positive thoughts - I'd call them personally or, if only computer contact was possible, I'd send an email...never FB. I think that keeps me as safe from these types of cybercrimes as it's ever possible to be. If not, I'll deal with it when...

May 17 2012 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am so sick and tired of these idiots. Why go into facebook, there isn't much personal info. No credit card numbers or social security numbers, a lot of people on facebook only use part of there name, for example, Jean Marie, they don't put their last name. I know several who do this, also there are alot of people who have their pets names on facebook. People who hack into facebook are cowards who nothing else to do!!!!!!

May 17 2012 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Clonning is nothing new it`s been going on for 20 years on AOL and other sites

May 17 2012 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i received email that i won 1000000.00$ it that true or scam??

May 17 2012 at 4:55 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mbritel7's comment


May 17 2012 at 6:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
green gate farm

I think Facebook is losing it's appeal. It's been around long enough that people are getting bored. The smart ones have grown up and come to realize that they really don't want to know what their friends are up to every second. I've never had a Facebook account and never will. I value my privacy to a certain extent and with all the money to be made scamming and child abuse it has become a cesspool of users.

May 17 2012 at 4:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I use FB but I didn't put my real name & DOB just a picture. I don't understand why peoples download all they photos album of them self for the world to see???

May 17 2012 at 4:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply