Scammers always embrace new technology and Facebook has proven to be a fertile breeding ground for cyber fraud, particularly schemes involving dangerous malware like Trojan viruses.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 16, 2013
Scambook, the Internet's leading complaint resolution platform, is warning Facebook users about two recent scams circulating on the popular social media website. The first scam is an exaggerated warning for a fake virus and the second scheme is a fake video that prompts victims to download malware.
"Scammers always embrace new technology and Facebook has proven to be a fertile breeding ground for cyber fraud, particularly schemes involving dangerous malware like Trojan viruses," said Kase Chong, Scambook's Director of Marketing. "These social media scams exploit users' tendency to share everything with their friends."
The fake virus warning spread during the week of May 10*, with an estimated 35,000 people sharing the hoax on their Facebook accounts. The scam consisted of a message warning users of an email virus called "Archive (Windows live)" and claimed that CNN and Microsoft were classifying the virus as the "worst ever" and "most destructive." However, these claims were not true and the virus mentioned in the warning does not exist.
Due to the extreme language of this message, many Facebook users may have become unnecessarily alarmed and sought out unnecessary or even malicious anti-virus downloads.
The second scam, which was reported on May 13**, involved a Trojan virus targeting Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome users in the form of a browser extension.
If downloaded, this Trojan virus can take control of the user's Facebook account and post false URLs, including a link to a fake video titled "15 YEAR-OLD VICTIM OF BULLYING COMMITS SUICIDE AFTER SHOWING HER BREASTS ON FACEBOOK". These subsequent links may spread the Trojan virus to additional victims.
To avoid falling victim to these two scams or other fraud on Facebook, Scambook advises the following tips:
1. Use common sense and fact-check before sharing "warning" messages. If users do not know the source first hand, they are advised to research the information to check its validity. If a message is untrue, do not spread it. Even a seemingly "harmless" message on Facebook can create new connections to malicious third-party individuals as the initial creator of that message can see who shares or "likes" it.
2. Don't watch videos that require additional software downloads. If users are sent a link to a video, they are advised to avoid it if prompted to download additional software or plugins. These additional downloads generally carry malware, such as Trojan viruses, which can infect the user's computer and hijack their Facebook account.
3. Review and upgrade Facebook privacy and security options. Facebook often upgrades its privacy and security settings and may make changes to the user's account without notifying them directly. Users should periodically review their privacy and security settings to ensure the highest level of protection.
4. Maintain legitimate anti-virus software and network security. Users should always keep their computer secure with an up-to-date anti-virus software from a trusted company such as Norton, McAfee or AVG. Scambook advises to keep this anti-virus software turned on and schedule regular scans for viruses and malware. Users are also warned to review their network security and ensure that they are connecting via secure Internet connections.
For more information on how to defend against cyber scams, consumers are invited to visit http://www.scambook.com/blog
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.
*Cluley, Graham; “Seriously folks, you should know that Facebook warning about a virus burning your hard disk is bunk”; http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/17/facebook-hoax-burning-hard-disk/ (April 17, 2013)
**Scam Watch; “New Trojan Malware Attempts to Hijack Facebook Accounts”; http://facecrooks.com/Scam-Watch/New-Trojan-Malware-Attempts-to-Hijack-Facebook-Accounts.html (May 13, 2013)