Hackers and scammers never sleep. They're always looking for new ways to trick you and take your information and money. Unfortunately, Facebook is one of their favorite targets. I've warned you in the past about common Facebook scams to avoid.
Well, there's a new Facebook scam making the rounds. So far it's tricked an estimated 800,000 users, and it's still spreading like crazy.
Here's how it works:
A post might show up in your news feed or perhaps you'll get an email or Facebook message. It indicates that a Facebook friend has tagged you in a video and give you a link to watch the video. That sounds fairly normal so far.
However, when you click on the link you'll see a message warning that you need a browser plug-in or extension to watch the video. Watch out! This is where things get bad.
Once installed, the extension sends your email and social media account usernames and passwords back to the hackers. They can then go through your accounts looking for sensitive information.
They also use your accounts to send the same fake message to your friends. That's how the virus keeps spreading.
As always, you need to be on your guard and follow the rules for spotting phishing scams.
My rules for avoiding online scams, identity thieves and hackers
- Don't click on links or download attachments in email from people you don't know.
- Don't click on links or download attachments in email from people you DO know if it looks fishy (or phishy in this case). It's best to verify with the person who sent it.
- Don't click on links in Facebook that look out of character for the person posting them - or that promise something out of character for Facebook.
- Don't click on links or download attachments in email from companies, even ones you do business with. Visit the company's site manually or give them a call to confirm the email.
- Don't install programs or browser extensions from unsolicited email, Facebook or Twitter links. If you must, go find the program or extension's official website and download it from there.
- Don't visit shady websites. Especially don't give them personal information or download files from them.
There are hundreds of scams out there right now. Here are three you need to know how to spot.
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