Facebookers Beware: That's Not Your Friend

Internet scammers have found Facebook to be a fruitful playground

By Todd Wright
|  Saturday, Mar 21, 2009  |  Updated 7:15 PM CDT
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Facebookers Beware: That's Not Your Friend

Don't believe everything you read, even if it is on Facebook.

Facebook users, put that checkbook down. That's not really your friend stuck in London.

A new Internet scam is popping up on the popular social network and computer hackers are finding gullible users easy pickings.

Since we are in the business of informing and protecting the gullible and/or idiots who would rush to send money to someone over the Internet, we'll give you the inside scoop on how the scam works.

Stop reading now if you've already been duped. Wouldn't want you to re-live the agony and embarrassment.

Hackers break into Facebook accounts and start sending urgent and desperate sounding messages to the user's friends. The messages claim that the user is stuck in London or another foreign city and they've just been mugged of their cash, credit cards and phone. For purposes of this exercise, the message might as well say they are on the space shuttle and headed to the moon.

Somehow your buddy found a computer in the foreign land and now they need you to wire them some money.

And, of course, you are expected to believe what you are reading because it comes from a friendly face. Don't believe the hype!

At this point, you are supposed to resist the temptation of calling Western Union and transferring all the money in your savings to your Facebook friend in need. Or maybe you could just shut off your computer.

Authorities are calling the sophisticated (not really) plot the "419 scam."

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