Having your Facebook account hacked is typically more of an annoyance or an embarrassment than a threat. Correcting the situation is as easy as changing your password and posting an apology as your status to your ‘friends’ who were untended victims of a hacker’s link that sent them to a pornographic site. But a new threat is cropping up that can do damage to consumer credit accounts and to the more heinous crime of identity theft.
The Facebook scheme is a goldmine for hackers with more than 850 million potential targets. Scam artists lure their victims using the chat function on Facebook. After fraudulently gaining access to a user’s account, they use their profile picture and alias with the Facebook logo and pose as ‘Facebook Security’ to establish a conversation initiated through chat with all the ‘friends’ connected to the account. The contact begins with a warning, “Your Facebook account will be turned off because someone has reported you. Please do re-confirm your account security by: (inserted link) Thank you, The Facebook Team”.
Click on the phishing link contained in the chat and you’ll land on a bogus page designed to look like the official Facebook site with all the normal fields to be filled in – name, email, passwords and security question and the first six digits of their credit card* number to confirm their identity. If the fraud isn’t discovered by this point, the user is prompted to update their account and may enter and confirm sensitive identification including the entire credit card number, expiration date and security code found on the back of the card.
This is the second phishing attempt to hack credit card information that I am aware. Previously the bait was an offer for free Apple products and sucked Facebook users into providing personal and financial information to cover the cost of shipping their prize.
To protect against becoming a victim of phishing, remember that Facebook and financial institutions never request personal or financial information via email or chat. If you suspect that you are being targeted by a hacker, contact the institution that’s involved with as much detailed information as possible.
* Looking a new credit card? Visit WOW!CreditCards.com to compare all the best offers...