Facebook Hoaxes and Identity Theft

October 1, 2015

There are some of you who refuse to use Facebook and that is certainly your prerogative. Many of us get enjoyment, connection and business marketing from Facebook along with much more. Those of you who were active on the service were no doubt seeing people posting two hoaxes repeatedly in the last few days. I will show you screenshots of these two horrible hoaxes and how you can quickly avoid posting this stupidity in the future. Then we’ll talk about hackers creating fake profiles.

facebook-cost-hoax

There were a number of variations of the above post about Facebook charging to keep your information private. If you want your information to be kept private, just modify your privacy settings in Facebook. As for a cost, Facebook has stated they will never charge users! But if you ever want to know if something like this is real, just look it up on an urban legend site. One of the most popular is snopes.com and they explain in detail why this is false.

facebook-copyrightThe next one regards the ownership of copyright and privacy on your posts and you’ll see a sample of the text of this hoax at right. Once again the folks at Snopes make it clear that this one is also patently false.

Should you ever see posts like this in the future, look them up first before blindly copying and pasting it on your own account. If you see people you know posting it, tell them it is a hoax and ask them to delete the post so the madness will end.

I had one friend who posted it even though they knew it was a hoax because “it was funny”. It isn’t funny at all to see so many people actually believing these hoaxes.

On the same day I got a friend request from a high school classmate. We’ll call her Susie to protect the innocent. I found this friend request a bit odd since I was already friends with Susie and even more sketchy since the new friend request had no photo. I didn’t even bother to look, I knew it was fake and reported it to Facebook.

Other friends of Susie just blindly accepted the new friend request and were soon receiving private messages from the new Susie. One even commented that the fake Susie spoke (typed) in a far different way than the real one. A bit later, the real Susie posted a comment about the experience. I’ve edited out the end of the post to protect privacy.

facebook-vent

She asked why people hack accounts. That answer is quite simple, money! I mentioned that the fake Susie had been private messaging friends. I’m sure the imposter was trying to find a gullible friend and would then describe some tough situation that would require money to escape.

I once had another high school friend send me a private message claiming he was in the Philippines and needed money to get out of some trouble. Since I knew how to contact this person outside of Facebook, I immediately let him know.

First, make sure you use good passwords as that will help prevent the hackers from getting into your account. Even if your account is safe, be very suspicious if you get a friend request from someone with whom you are already friends. In my example, the lack of a profile photo was a dead giveaway it was an imposter. Unfortunately the same people who blindly fall for the hoaxes described earlier are also the ones who blindly accept the bogus friend requests. Use a little common sense and you can avoid these problems!

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