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Criminals Hacking Facebook Accounts for Stealing Identity

Once again there are reports of Facebook accounts being hacked by scammers, who are using them to demand money from friends.

Quoting the news published by Fairfax newspapers, ABC News reported on September 8, 2009 that a friend of Natasha Cann, a 34-year-old professional working for BHP Billiton (South Australia) and working in IT for the military, transferred money worldwide as she thought Ms Cann had been robbed and deserted in London in want of cash or a passport.

The friend received a Facebook message, purporting to be from Cann, stating that she had been severely attacked and robbed at gunpoint in London, and that she was in urgent need of money to get back home.

The e-mail was sent to all the 400 friends of Cann, asking for an introductory sum of $10,000 that required to be wired as soon as possible in cash to a Western Union account.

The message was in fact a ploy of hackers who had hacked Cann's account and thus, had taken over her identity. On the other hand, Cann thought that her account had been locked down and she came to know about the reality from one of her friends who called her from Singapore.

Realizing the truth, Cann contacted Facebook demanding to disable her hacked account but it took nearly 12 hours for Facebook to close her account and by the time one of her friends had already wired the asked amount to the fraudsters.

Professor Matthew Warren of Deakin University's School Information Systems, suspected that crimes of this type may become more prevalent in coming times, reported ABC News on September 8, 2009. He supported his suspicion by saying that users on sites like Facebook just need to authenticate themselves by a password and a username and this security technology has been in place since 1970s and 1980s. Professor also highlighted the over-trusting nature of the social networking sites makes them especially vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Moreover, phishing attacks on Facebook have been on a continuous surge for past some time. In a similar incident, an American lady had been defrauded of $4,000 through a Facebook phishing scam at the beginning of September 2009.

Related article: Criminals Hack With More Evil Tactics

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