Scam warning: Facebook phishing causing chaos as user data hacked – ‘Red flags’

'Silver fox' Facebook scammer duped mum-of-two out of £80,000

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The phishing scam has been reported to arrive in the form of a message on users’ Facebook profile itself or via messenger. The phishing message reads “Look what I found” and includes an emoji and a hyperlink.

It is likely that it will come from a friend or other contact who has had their account compromised.

Therefore, while it seems to come from a trusted source, it’s actually a sneaky way to try and gain access to users’ data.

Clicking on the link will take you through to a malicious web page that will ask for Facebook log-in details.

If these are entered, the scammers running the site will be able to get access to personal data and, in some cases, install malware directly onto the phone.

This could be dangerous if the phone contains any kind of sensitive or financial information.

Although this is a scam that has been going for a number of years, it appears to be having a resurgence at the moment.

Leslie Sikos, a cyber security expert from Edith Cowan University, told that scammers trick users by using the names of their existing contacts.

He said: “Messages seemingly coming from a Facebook friend much more likely result in clicks than messages sent by strangers, because people might only or primarily focus on the sender’s name at first rather than the message content, regardless whether that has red flags. 

“There are many scams of this sort, meaning that there is no single appearance or behaviour users could learn to avoid.”

Phishing is a term applied to a kind of electronic communications scam that aims to obtain private information, or to spread harmful malware, via the recipient.

It takes its name from fishing due to the parallels in unaware targets being reeled in by bait.

The term was invented around 1996, according to Computer World, as internet scammers began using e-mail lures, setting out hooks to fish for passwords and financial data from the sea of Internet users.

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The most common form of phishing involves the mimicry of official emails or text messages from trusted companies including Amazon, Paypal, all UK banks, Netflix, delivery companies, mobile phone providers and eBay.

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