Tag Archives: facebook-scam

Facebook Hacker Uses Chat to Extort Money

Having security software on your computer isn’t enough to keep you protected. Not clicking on unknown links won’t make sure you aren’t infected. Restraining yourself from punching the monkey or placing a tail on the donkey will not ensure your machine stays clean and free of unwanted nasties. Likewise, locking down your Facebook profile to only allow friends direct access to you may not be enough to keep you from being scammed.

Scammers will go to any lengths to extort money from us, apparently. One man recently hacked into a Facebook account and then proceeded to beg for money from a friend of the user whose account he had broken into. You can read the entire transcript of the chat between the two at the end of this post. Suffice to say the idiot tripped himself up more than once right from the beginning. Thanks to the quick thinking of the friend contacted, no harm was done – and no money changed hands.

Mike was supposedly in the hospital, recovering from some type of surgery to his head or brain. Imagine his friend Kevin’s surprise, then, when Mike chatted him up on the popular social networking site, claiming that he and his family were stranded in London and needed money right away to get home. The first red flag was raised at that precise moment. The second came shortly after Kevin offered to pay for airline tickets for the quartet using his air miles. Mike insisted they needed cash to settle the hotel bill – even though they were supposedly already standing in the airport. Mister scammer wanted cash wired to him via Western Union faster than most people could think.

Sadly, you can’t even trust your friends these days. More accurately, you should never fully trust that your friend is REALLY your friend if they ask you for money out of the blue… especially if they want it wired to some weird location they shouldn’t be in. Double and triple-check every detail before giving in to the impulse to help these people. Make sure the story is really true – or you’re going to be out a whole lot of money and pride.

Mike: Hello
Mike: how are you doing today ?
Kevin: hey hey
Mike: how are you doing today?
Kevin: all good, thank God…how’s by you
Mike: not good at all
Kevin: ?
Mike: yes
Kevin: what’s going on
Mike: we’re stuck in london
Mike: got mugged at the gun point last night
Mike: all cash and credit card phone got stolen away from us
Kevin: oh my goodness
Mike: but thank God will still have our passport with us
Kevin: i didn’t even know you guys were traveling
Mike: i need your help
Kevin: did you go to the police?
Mike: sorry i didn’t inforom you
Mike: yes but there are not helping issue ata ll
Mike: they told us to come back in two weeks later
Kevin: i thought you were confined to a hospital bed? how did you manage to get on a plane?
Mike: yes
Mike: i do
Mike: but my wife
Mike: has us to leave with the kids
Mike: for vacation
Mike: wondering if you can loan me some cash $$
Mike: when we get back today am going to refund back your money to you
Kevin: so you are still in the hospital, or you are in london with them?
Mike: i said am in london with them
Mike: Tracy said she going to pay back the money
Mike: when we get back
Kevin: Mike, seriously???? you never even paid me back the last loan! how i can i possibly give you more now?
Mike: please
Kevin: you remember, you asked me for money for the head surgery
Mike: Tracy will refund all
Mike: back to you immediately we get back home
Kevin: tell you what
Mike: i swear
Kevin: i have a friend in london. he can come get you
Kevin: we’ll sort it out
Kevin: i’m going to call him now, hold on
Kevin: where are you now
Mike: ok call him
Mike: but i don’t think that will help us
Mike: in this situiation
Mike: what we need is some cash
Kevin: he can bring some money for you
Mike: to get on a plane back home
Kevin: i’ll get you tickets. are you coming back to JFK?
Mike: our flight will be leaving in the next 1hour
Mike: yes
Kevin: oh, then i can meet you at the airport
Mike: can you wire us dome fund
Mike: via western union money transfer ?
Kevin: you’re at the airport already??
Mike: yes
Mike: please send us the money
Kevin: how much do you need
Mike: we’re going to pick it up here in the airport
Kevin: how much
Mike: $1550
Kevin: yikes
Kevin: oh you know what
Kevin: i have plenty of miles on my account, i can just buy the tickets for you
Mike: ??
Kevin: what flight number
Mike: i have to sort out hotel bills also
Mike: money is the issue
Mike: before leaving
Kevin: if your flight is in an hour, and you’re already in the airport, the hotels can wait until you land in a few hours
Mike: let me know how much you can get me at the moment?
Kevin: i’ll meet you at the JFK terminal
Kevin: i’ve already called your dad to let him know the situation
Kevin: he’s freaking out
Kevin: but i told him that you’re safe now
Mike: i still have my lodgings in the hotel
Kevin: he asked if you delivered the special package, or if it was taken from you
Kevin: not sure what he means by that
Kevin: do you want him to call you?
Mike: let let him know i did
Mike: i told you our phones got stolen away from
Mike: us
Kevin: oh right ok
Mike: let me know how much you can get to me at the moment
Kevin: ok, i got you 4 tickets on kuwait airways 101, it’s leaving at 6pm your time
Mike: because we need to get the bill sorted and get back home
Kevin: i put you, Tracy, and the the kids’ names on it
Kevin: so that should take care of the flight
Kevin: let me call the hotel, i’ll sort it out with them
Kevin: what’s their info
Mike: ok
Mike: you can call the hotel manager
Mike: +44[redacted]
Mike: let me know if you’re calling now
Kevin: actually, i’m calling the police. thanks for the phone number, scammer
Mike: you’re welcome
Mike: i will hack into your account if you dont log out between 6minute
Mike: i swear
Kevin: hahah go for it
Mike: ok wait and see your account going on hack processing right now
Mike: with bad sofware
Mike: 5minutes more

I have no idea if this scammer was caught, but let’s hope he at least learned a lesson.

Facebook Dislike Button Scam Making the Rounds

Some people were quite ecstatic today, thinking that Facebook finally listened to their pleas by adding a “Dislike” button. Sadly, they were mistaken. Not only has the social networking site not added the oft-requested button – the “news” of it being here is a scam that will wreak havoc on an unsuspecting user’s account.

Well-regarded security firm Sophos has flagged the scam as malicious. It is spreading in the form of links which appear to be from friends on the site, encouraging you to install a Facebook “dislike button.” The offending links will appear on your Wall saying (“I just got the Dislike button, so now I can dislike all of your dumb posts lol!!”. The messages aren’t really from your friends, of course. They’re automated messages from those who have already been duped.

The scam’s purpose is to force users to complete a survey contained in the app. Other than tricking you into completing a survey and gaining access to your profile (including the ability to spam your friends without your consent), there isn’t anything malicious or dangerous, thankfully. After a person completes the survey, they are redirected to the FaceMod site – a company who has created a Facebook-type of Dislike button. This button isn’t part of Facebook itself, though. It is simply a Firefox plugin. The scam does NOT appear to have any ties to FaceMod itself.

Graham Cluley (of Sophos) said it was the latest in a series of “survey scams” that included links to a video purporting to show an anaconda vomiting up a hippo. “Many people are giving permission for completely unknown apps,” Mr Cluley told BBC News. The surveys appear to be from genuine companies, he said. “As far as we can tell, they appear to be legitimate,” he said. “It could be that the firms are not policing their affiliates properly.”

Always be cautious when ANY type of message appears on your Facebook Wall with links to something that doesn’t seem quite “right.” Never give permission for unknown apps to access your account information.

How Do You Manage Your Time?

It seems as though we have more to do every day. There is never enough time to get it all done, and we find ourselves becoming overwhelmed quite often. There has to be a better way of doing things than to keep adding to the next day’s to-do list. We shouldn’t go to bed and lie there unable to sleep because we’re making a mental checklist of everything we have to squeeze in when the sun rises again.

For some people, learning to manage their time effectively is a daunting task. It takes time to get organized… and time is something we have precious little of. I know that I personally keep myself in check by using iCal. If I have something important to attend to, I note it down on my calendar. I spend so much of my day on the Internet due to the type of work I do, though, that it’s nearly impossible not to get distracted. The next thing I know, I’ve read six stories and all of the resulting comments. It’s not that I don’t want to know what else is going on in the world. I simply need to keep myself on task and set aside specific times to catch up on what others are doing.

How do you manage your time? Have you found the magical answer we all need in order to help us become more focused? If so, I’d sure like to hear about it.

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