When you are added as a friend on Facebook by someone who is already in your contact list, be careful! It might be a fraud.
The scheme of fraud
First, a copy of a real Facebook profile is made with the real photos and personal data added. Then the felons begin to add friends from the victim's contact list.
Many people add a new friend seeing a familiar name and face. By no means should you do it, unless you make sure it is the real account of your friend or relative.
Experts warn, that you provide the felons with your personal information when you add a fake friend. They will be aware of your posts, location, birth date etc. They also will be able to send messages to your friends on your behalf in order to gather more information about you or to borrow money from them.
Research shows that fake accounts are used to con people into borrowing money which is never returned.
Be careful! When you get a friend application from someone who is already in your contact list, make sure that the request is not a fake. Ignore the requests from perfect strangers!
In addition, it is recommended to use more strict privacy settings. It is better to give a friends-only access to your profile, photos, etc.
Another way to protect your account, is to limit the access to your friend list. To do it, open Friends tab and choose Friends in the line Who can see your friend list?
A story of a fraud victim
“One day I got a request from Jessica, a distant relative who I don’t see very often. It looked strange, as she was in my friend list by that time. But I thought that her old account could have been blocked and added her. A few minutes later, the new friend texted me, and after a short exchange I got a very peculiar message:
“I am so happy! Just imagine, I got $2000 by National Help Campaign! They help the retired, the disabled and the poor, just like us, to improve our lives”.
After this, I knew it was a fraud. I informed my real relative, whose profile was still active, that her page was copied. I also noticed that a fake Jessica had 34 friends added the same time as me. There were just a few photos on her page and the ridiculous spelling mistakes made me think of a fake”.
This story is just one of thousands.
How to protect your account
1. Check your friend requests thoroughly. Take a closer look at the profiles of your new aquaintances. Make sure the request is not sent by someone from your contact list.
2. Remember that your friends can be hacked too. Do not click the links they send to you thoughtlessly.
3. Pay attention to the grammar and spelling of the messages. Misprints and ridiculous mistakes are characteristic of dodgers.
4. Check your friends' page. When a friend of yours unexpectedly begins to post quick earning schemes, celebrity gossip or requests for material help, you should inform the owner of an account directly. When a person rarely sees their Facebook page, they might be unaware of being hacked.
Remember! Your safety depends on you!