Facebook Scam: 'I've Been Mugged In London'
Scammers are using Facebook profiles to try to exhort money from users' friends, it has emerged.
Scammers are using Facebook profiles to try to exhort money from users' friends, it has emerged.
Facebook users may find their friends are not who they think they are
The fraudsters hack into people's accounts and message their friends posing as the user, who they claim has been "mugged in London".
Appearing to be in desperate need of money, the scammers try to draw the user's friends into an online conversation, ending with a plea for funds.
A transcript of one attempt shows how they take personal information from hacked pages to make their pose more realistic.
The scammer, posing as a man named only as Matt, tells a Facebook friend: "I have the money in my checking account, I can't just access it from here. This (is) really me - Lauren (Matt's wife) is here with me and my kids."
When the friend continues to question his identity, the fraudster blocks him, so he is unable to post a warning on Matt's homepage.
Although the scam appears most common among users in the US, as well as in Australia, an Ireland-based blogger has also described how his account was hacked.
John Braine wrote: "While I was scrambling around trying to find the best way of reporting it, the 'other me' was busy chatting to all my Facebook friends telling them that I'd been mugged at gunpoint in London and I was completely freaked and needed money to pay for my hotel and a flight home.
"One friend said the scammer got quite aggressive when she asked him how I/he knew her."
In one bizarre exchange, a scammer finally admitted he was not actually in London but in Lagos, Nigeria - but still asked his potential victim to add him as a Facebook friend.
It is not known how many people have fallen victim to the ruse.
A Facebook spokeswoman said: “This is a very low-volume attack, affecting a small number of users, but we are concerned about any potential security threat and we’re taking this issue very seriously.”
She said that when Facebook analysts find compromised accounts they disable them and try to get them back to their rightful owner.
Often the scammer has added a new contact email in a bid to keep control of the account, so Facebook is introducing changes to better alert users when their account is modified.
The spokeswoman added: “We're reminding users to be very suspicious of anyone, even friends, who ask you over the Internet to send money.”
source - news.sky.com