Facebook: Scam Central

Mark Berry June 3, 2010

In the last 24 hours I received two invitations from different Facebook friends to sign up for “events.” Both emails actually came from Facebook, and both included the first and last name of my friend as the person extending the invitation. The first promised me a $1000 Best Buy gift certificate:

Facebook Scam 1

The second was “only” for free ring tones, but besides the sender, it actually lists two other people I know as invitees:

Facebook Scam 2

Generous as they were, I didn’t accept these invitations, since I figured that would lead either to a virus site, a phishing site, or (worst) sending the invitation to all of my Facebook friends.

A few rules of thumb:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If out of the blue, friends suddenly invite you to “events” that are supposedly product giveaways, don’t accept. You might send them a private email suggesting that they change their Facebook password in case it’s been hacked.
  • Facebook is not a secure platform. Assume that anything you put on Facebook will be available to any Page, fan club, event, or friend that somehow earns the trust or interest of one of your friends. Set your privacy settings as high as possible, don’t post your birthday, and consider blocking Facebook access on work computers.
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