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Nigerian 419 Scam Used to Steal Money from Facebook Users

Facebook is again targeted by spammers, but used a different spamming technique. They are using Nigerian 419 scam to dupe users for sending money.

In a latest instance, Karina Wells, a Google Australian employee, got a Facebook spam mail from a criminal who pretended to be Adrian, her friend. In the mail, spammers claimed that he was struck in Lagos, Nigeria, and require US$ 500 to buy a ticket for returning home.

The reports also disclosed that Karina was not initially suspicious, but later noticed that her friend was using American phrases such as 'cell phone' in place of 'mobile phone'. Hence, she called the authorities to tell them about the attempted fraud.

Sophos said that these kinds of scams are not easy to trace with several hundreds friends. It is really very difficult for a member to trace their origin.

Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant, Sophos, says that many users do not know the exact number of their friends on the site. Information like - where they all are and what they are doing - is providing spammers a new medium of launching attacks, as reported by Help Net Security on November 10, 2008.

Cluley also claims that it is another skirmish in the continuous battle between Facebook users and online criminals who are aiming to exploit the site as well as its members for monetary gains.

Security experts added that mails come from social networking Website have higher chances of entering user's inboxes as they don't possess obvious signs which botnet spam posses, like bad IP address, bad mail construction or bad headers. This simply implies that several spam filters fail to stop these mails from entering the victim's inboxes.

Cluley further said that until users take necessary precaution to protect their systems and private information, the number of conmen using stolen identities of Facebook to steal money from innocent people by appearing as their friends will continue rising.

Security experts advise that users should never divulge their private information and should be alert of unusual requests. A message from a 'friend' does not make it authentic and valid.

Related article: Nigerian Scammers Secure Huge Money from Australian Victims

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