By BECKY RUTHERFORD
Breaking News: Scammers are jerks! In the latest round of Facebook scams, users are receiving Facebook messages with the subject “Look who died” and a link to a “news” article that is, you guessed it, a phishing site.
What is a scammer’s favorite way to trick you? A sense of urgency and fear! And what could be scarier than someone you know dying? The link will not take you to any legitimate news site, but rather to a spoofed page trying to steal your Facebook login, or other sensitive information. Victims are usually prompted to enter their Facebook username and password to view the article. Scammers can use this info to hack your Facebook account, and possibly more.
It’s a pretty simple scam, not particularly targeted, with the goal of trying to compromise as many accounts as possible. The end goal here is to steal your login credentials, and any other information they can get..
Why would they want to do this? Once the hackers have one person’s credentials, they can use them to sign in and lock them out of their accounts by changing all contact info. With a brand-new account in hand, the scammers can then forward the message to the victim’s friends, hoping to get even more people to fall for this scam… and on and on and on. It’s a self-propagating scam, making it even harder to stop.
Don’t be so quick to click…stop and think before you move. Is it likely someone would break this kind of news to you over Facebook messenger? Probably not. Always be suspicious, and don’t click the link!
Even if a Facebook message appears to come from a friend, use caution…it might be a newly created, fake account spoofing that friend, it might be that your friend’s account has been compromised.
What to do if you have fallen for this scam?
- Make sure you aren’t locked out of your account, then immediately change your password;
- Go to security settings and log out of any locations or devices you don’t recognize. You can do that by clicking on the menu and choosing “not you?” Do the same with any apps;
- Go to general settings, make sure to check the email addresses linked to your account. If there are any unknown ones, remove them as well;
- If you don’t have two-factor authentication, now’s the time to set it up;
- Change your email password just in case and change any passwords that were the same as your Facebook password and associated with your email address; and
- If you have an anti-virus, it’s recommended to run a full scan of any affected devices.
This scam plays on fear and tries to use your fear against you to make you click the link. But you know better, so don’t click it! Delete and ignore the message, if you are really concerned, reach out to your friend via an alternate channel like a phone call to a known number. Stay safe, don’t panic and don’t click that link!