The number of Facebook users in the world is staggering, over 2 billion. That's impressive! There are also more than 1.2 billion people using Facebook Messenger.
These massive numbers make both services a prime target for cybercriminals. That's why we're always warning you about the latest scams making the rounds on the social networking giant.
Now, a flaw in Facebook Messenger has been discovered that puts you, your friends and family at risk.
The problem starts with how accounts are set up
If you have both a Facebook and Messenger account, you know setting each of them up is quite a different process. When creating your Facebook account, you need to enter your name, email or mobile phone number, password, date of birth and gender.
After clicking create an account, you need to verify who you are. You do this by confirming your email or mobile phone number.
Creating an account on Messenger is much simpler. You only need to provide a mobile phone number and you don't need a full Facebook profile. This process is making it easy for fraudsters to create fake accounts since there's no verification process to prove their identity.
And I would like to be Queen
Scammers and impostors are setting up fake accounts pretending to be someone else. It's a relatively simple process actually.
A fraudster just needs to scour Facebook to find new victims. They can use the victim's name and even a profile picture to set up a fake Messenger account. They can grab pictures off the internet. They can be the President. They can be your church minister. They can be the Queen!
Then, the impostor begins sending messages to the victim's friends and family asking for money to be sent through an online account. You might be surprised by how many people actually fall for this scam.
But it makes sense if you think about it. If someone that you're close to asks for help and you believe it's really them, you'd probably give it to them.
Is there a fix for this security issue?
Unfortunately, there is no fix for the security issue at this time. Facebook said that it's aware of the problem and is taking steps to fix it, but there is no time-frame to when it'll be ready. Thank you, Facebook. Appreciate you having our backs like this.
In the meantime, it's a good idea to play it safe when it comes to messages asking for money. If a friend or family member asks for help, try and contact them in person or on the phone to verify it was actually them who asked. Do not be gullible!
Now, if you have any older family members and friends on Facebook, it is time for you to do your civic duty. Speak up. Share this article. Do something!
This is important. Tell them they need to be very careful of any Grandparent Scams.
That's when someone will pose as a grandchild, in desperate need of help, well, really they need cash. They appeal to a grandparents' good nature and steal from them. There is a special place in hell for these scammers.
Guess what? Because there aren’t any details attached to the bogus account, it’s impossible to report them to Facebook. And don’t try to call Facebook because many of those support numbers you find online are also a scam stealing your money. What a world!
Lock it down, Danno
Make sure that your Facebook account is as secure is as possible. There are settings that you can adjust that will keep strangers from finding out personal information about you.
Have a question about the latest scams or anything tech related? Kim has your answer! Click here to send Kim a question, she may use it and answer it on her radio show. The Kim Komando Show is broadcast on over 450 stations. Click here to find the show time in your area.
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