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BBB Cautions Users of Dangerous Social Networking Scams

Better Business Bureau (BBB) has alerted users of Facebook and others social networking sites about the latest scams used by hackers to steal their private details.

Paula Fleming, Spokesperson of BBB, said that social networking sites are very popular as they enable users to connect or reconnect with trusted people, as reported by wbztv on January 13, 2009.

Paula further added that hackers knew very well that they could exploit this trust by disguising as friends, family and colleagues to send viruses and hack private details like credit card or bank information.

BBB gave some examples that one can use to know whether he is scammed, phished or met an actual friend.

One of the latest scam studied by BBB is the friend in trouble. In this scam, BBB said that the Facebook user will get a message from a friend who tells that he is in a problem, like trapped in a foreign country, and asks him to send money through wire transfer. But this is a message from a hacker who has intruded in the friend's account. BBB also said that if the user sends the money through wire transfer, he/she will not get the money back and all the financial details will be accessed by the attacker.

In addition, two more interesting scams that targeted many users during December 2008 were the "viral wall post scam" and "phishing friends scam". In the "viral post scam", BBB claims that users will get a post on their page that reads "hey do u realize your face book picture is all over". On the other hand, in "phishing friends scam", user will get a message on his Facebook account alongwith a video clipping that will download a virus on the system.

Consequently, BBB suggests that users should not click on the links embedded in the mails asking personal details or encouraging install software from an unfamiliar user. They also advise users to be wary of mails that ask for private information. Lastly, BBB urges them to send such skeptical mails to BBB for further inspection.

Related article: BBA Outlines Steps To Ward Off Online Fraud

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