This weekend, you're going to be on social media sites like Facebook a lot. You'll post pictures of your family opening Christmas gifts. You'll scan through messages to see how the people you care about spent the holiday.
You may also see a lot offers from stores, whether it's after-Christmas sales or year-end sales. You'll probably also see links to win free stuff. Which, on Facebook, is a red flag.
There's currently a Facebook scam affecting Portuguese-speaking people in South America that is likely to be replicated in English here, and elsewhere around the world. Don't fall victim to this serious scam, which infects your computer with malware, and steals you financial information.
These Facebook scammers post "free stuff" messages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The first thing to note is that you shouldn't click on any offer you see on Facebook, unless you know for sure it's not a scam.
Second, this specific scam is notable for posting short links, or tiny URLs. Those are those shorted website addresses you see on Twitter and other sites.
Here's how this Facebook scam works. You'll see an offer for a coupon voucher for something like the WhatsApp smartphone messenger, or anti-virus software. (Both of which you can get free without a coupon.)
If you click on the link, the hackers infect your device with a Spy Banker Downloader Trojan and then a Spy Banker Trojan Telax, to steal your bank credentials. It gets worse.
These Trojans are used to infect your computer with malware and rootkits, which are used to take over your computer. In other words, these scammers have as much access to your computer as you do, maybe more.
Plus, the malware tricks Facebook users, it seems, into handing over their two-step verification information. Two-step verification is when you double you security by typing in a password, then type in another code that Facebook or another company sends to you.
It's not clear how these Facebook scammers are using that two-step verification information. However, cybersecurity experts think they may be using it to unlock real two-step verification setups.
Note: Remember to protect your digital devices, and your ID and financial information. Visit the Komando Security Center for tips on keeping yourself safe, including ways to create strong passwords, hide yourself while you're online, and more. There is also information about powerful, free or low-cost anti-virus programs.