The number of clicks, shared links, "likes" and connections made by social media users is off the charts, and cyber crimes related to social media are spreading just as fast. These scams take advantage of social connections and the fact that people often view photos, videos and links posted by their friends without hesitation. Unfortunately, the latest scams involve hijacking accounts and tricking friends into downloading viruses or sharing sensitive information.
One of these scams might be waiting in your inbox or social media news feed right now:
- A Facebook post from a friend inviting you to link to a photo album of a recent vacation. Watch out: The friend's account may be hacked and the link could be infected.
- An instant message from a friend with a plea to wire money because he or she is in trouble. Watch out: The friend's account could be hijacked and this is probably not your friend asking for help.
- An email disguised to look like it's from Facebook notifying you that a friend commented on one of your photos on the site. Watch out: When you click the link to view the comment, you might download a virus instead.
- A tweet inviting you to check out a funny video through a short link. Watch out: Your friend's Twitter account could be hacked and the link might be infected.
- A message that appears to come from LinkedIn invites you to download documents for a meeting. Watch out: Downloading the files could install malicious software onto your computer.
Think Before You Click
Cyber criminals dream up new scams for stealing information every day. As more people use smaller hand-held devices, the red flags of scams go easily unnoticed on tiny screens. Protect your information and think twice before you click, download, share or "like" something on social media sites.