Facebook Scam Pages on the rise. Find out how to detect one.
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Facebook Scam Pages

Facebook Scam Pages

A lot of times we see Facebook Scam pages with crazy liberal giveaways of Disneyland tickets, iPads, iPhones and supermarket vouchers. The prizes seem too good to be true as the offers seem to come from Industry Leaders .We all know that some posts are scams, but others seem legitimate. Scammers disguise scams as legitimate online promos and resisting the urge to click can be difficult. They prey on Facebook users' curiosity and trust.

Independent security expert Graham Cluley, says that the rise of social networks has made it easy for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting users and hence there seems to be a rise in Facebook Scam Pages recently.

"Before social networking, you had to consciously forward an email with malicious content to members of your address book," Graham Cluley said. "But now with Facebook, it's just too easy to pass something along. You can click a link, 'like' a post or reshare something without thinking about the consequences. Before you know it, you've contributed to the problem and worsened the signal-to-noise ratio on the social network."

One artifice that Facebook scammers use is to push people to click a coercive URL. But instead of seeing the specified site, the misled user inconsiderately spams friends with links to the same URL. Some messages are so convincing that victims may unsuspectingly provide personal information such as credit card or phone numbers, which the scammer can then exploit to run up unwarranted charges.

Sometimes the user might get a link from a friend, which appears to be a video on his wall with the comment, "Is this you”? LOL!.  He might end up clicking it, but it may be a scam or a link to a malevolent site posted by a miscreant using a hijacked Facebook account.

Here are two things to be noted, when the user clicks a link, it doesn’t take him to the promised page or it takes a longer time to load than expected. A delayed load may mean that the user is being bounced between proxy servers to hide a hacker's location, instead of being sent directly to the destination.

The other clues are, the page might not contain any website details, there might be spelling mistakes in the in the page name or description, the promotion might have no terms and conditions or closing date.

The user has to be extremely cautious when there are pages that ask him to enter his Facebook login information. Once scammers manage to gain access to the user’s account details, they can use it to spam his friends. Even the shortened URLs may create problems, since users can't tell by looking at a shortened Web address whether it's authentic.

Most of these Facebook scam Pages are contrived to beget revenue for the scammers through pay-per-click schemes or through access to in­­formation that can lead to unauthorized charges on credit cards or phone bills.

However, there are preventative measures the user can take to ensure he is safe while using Facebook.

To set a strong Facebook password that's difficult to guess and the one that is not used elsewhere.

To install an antivirus software, plugins and patches current and to check regularly for updates.

To remove suspicious apps that the user doesn’t remember downloading.

If the user comes across a Facebook scam page, he should report it or message the official company Facebook page of the relevant organization.

Author
Richard Meryn, Associate Editor Industry Leaders Magazine (www.industryleadersmagazine.com)

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