Category Archives: Facebook Attacks

Social Media Scams Based on Current Events

Social Media Scams Based on Current Events

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Social Media Scams Based on Current Events

We are sure you’ve seen them lurking in your news feeds- breaking news reporting a celebrity’s death, photos of natural disasters striking major cities, video footage of riots and outrage over an accidental shooting- all seemingly legitimate news stories. However, this “news” may not be what it seems.

In 2016, Facebook has reported that it has 1.71 billion monthly active Facebook users. Twitter has 313 million monthly active users. With so many active users, popular social sites are a scammer’s paradise. Scammers will try to entice you into clicking by posting sensational or emotional breaking news stories; sometimes capitalizing on a recent news event, or making up a fake, shocking news story. The motives are the same; scammers try to exploit these stories for any kind of financial gain possible.

There are several different types of tactics scammers will use to try to lure you into taking the bait: impersonating victims or family members of a tragic event; selling souvenirs or memorabilia while claiming the proceeds go to charity; or by posting photos and videos of the event.

Click With Caution
You may have seen a fake videos or news stories circulating on social media sites after an extremely newsworthy event. The post states that the user needs to share the content before it can be viewed. After sharing the video, users are taken to a page asking the user to fill out a survey before viewing. Seems harmless enough, right? Hardly. The survey will gather sensitive personal information that can be used in phishing attacks. In addition to collecting sensitive data, the scammers will also earn money per completed survey and in turn, will sell that information to other scammers.

There are many variations of these types of scams, and it is not always a survey. Users will try to view the video, and are taken to a page stating that they need to download a plug-in in order to view the video correctly. This “plug-in” is malware in disguise, usually a form of spyware that is then installed on the user’s computer that will track and collect information such as bank accounts, Social Security numbers and anything else that can be used in attempting identity theft.

In addition to trying to install malware on your computer, there are other objectives. Sometimes these links will redirect you to adult websites or spam sites in an attempt to boost web traffic, or to install malicious Facebook applications that can steal your personal data.
Ways to Spot a Fake
Be skeptical. Just because you see it on your feed doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. Sometimes, your friends may have fallen victim to the scam and are not aware of it; scammers using clickjacking could have hijacked their account.

Always check the link before clicking. You can do that by either hovering over the link or looking directly below the link itself on the Facebook post, which shows the referring website’s URL. Only visit known and trusted websites. You can also use Norton Safe Searchto verify the legitimacy of a website as well.

Be very suspicious when there is a call to action before being able to view the content. Moreover, actions such as having to share the media before viewing, requests to take a survey or download additional software are all huge red flags.

If you need to know if the event happened, use a search engine to verify the validity of the headline. If you were to type in the subject of the event, you would see stories about how it is a fake. If it were a real story, there would be several news articles listed about the event.

You can also visit trusted news sites such as or to verify the story. Another great site for busting hoaxes is

What to Do If You Fall for the Scam
In the event that you fall prey to one of these scams, here are a few steps you can take to clean up the damage and minimize it from spreading.

  • Remove the spam from your feed, so no other people fall victim to the scam.
  • Change your password immediately. Even if you do not think the scammers have access to it, it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • If you were tricked into installing a rogue app, remove it.
  • Run a virus scan! You may not always be aware that malware has been installed on your machine. Norton Security will scan your computer for malware, and using Norton Safe Search will notify you about malicious websites.
  • Create a post on your feed notifying friends of the scam, informing them not to click on anything strange or unusual coming from your page.
  • Report the scam to Facebook or Twitter, depending on where the content is hosted.

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Source and Copyright: Norton blogs.


Phishing attacks on Facebook users point to efforts to mine login data for profit

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A new wave of phishing attacks on Facebook users is underway. You’ll remember the story from several months back of someone whose login credentials were stolen and then the crook used that Facebook access to swindle the victim’s friends out of thousands of dollars. The current effort resembles that one, in that a compromised account sends a malicious link to friends. The friends click on the link and are taken to a site that looks just like a Facebook login page. Providing the criminals with their login and password can sometimes injure the victim beyond the damage to their social network.

So many of us admit we use the same password on multiple accounts (not just social networks but online shopping and banking). It is believed that the focus on Facebook isn’t simply to dupe a handful of people in a drawn-out financial scam. Some suspect it’s part of a larger effort to target those who are highly connected, adopters of online environments and likely to be users of many related online services. Get one password for the right person and it’s like getting handed their wallet. Fortunately the team at Facebook is taking this attack very seriously and working diligently to remove messages with those dangerous links, and helping secure any compromised accounts.

OK, so what do you do? You maintain your normal level of caution about any messages from within a website or that appear to be sent by that website. If you do click a link, double check the actual domain that is shown at the top of the page. It’s a best practice to type directly into your address bar the address, rather than rely upon links from a message.

1.       Use complex passwords and unique ones for each site. My method? Pick one string of letters and numbers and then add the first letter from the website’s name. For example: if my password “string” were  “abc123$” then my Facebook password would be “Fabc123$”.

2.       Maintain an up-to-date browser and operating system. Use security software, such as Norton Internet Security 2009. Check out web safety services such as Norton Safe Web where a community of web users collaborate to report dangerous phishing and malware sites.

3.       Double check you’ve arrived at your destination. When clicking over to Facebook (or any site) make a habit of looking at what appears in the address line. You might not always be able to spot a fake site but in the case of this particular scam, it’s obviously not

4.       Be suspicious of requests to enter your account name and password.

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Source and Copyright: Norton blogs.