Colorado Springs

SCAM BUSTERS: Why is Facebook so popular for scammers?

SCAM BUSTERS: Why is Facebook so...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Most of you probably have a Facebook account and have seen those enticing ads from companies overseas selling cheap clothes.

Some of the deals seem too good to pass up, but can you trust you're getting what you pay for? 

Det. Trey White with the El Paso County Sheriff's Dept. explains how Facebook is becoming a lucrative way to make money with information that doesn't cost anything.

Experts say there are two main reasons Facebook is attractive to hackers:

1. It is an easy way to increase their 'follower' count 

2. Hacking a Facebook account gives them access to other 'friends' they can then spread malware to as a way to get ahold of private/blocked information

How can you spot a fake profile?

Youtube's Jon Ochs has a detailed video that shows you step by step.

How do you update your privacy settings?

Youtube's Tutovids has a in-depth video tutorial.

What to look out for? Take a look at Christina's story.

Christina Vigeant loves to shop online, and lately she's found her go-to places pop-up every time she's on Facebook.

"They're like we'll beat your price so when you click on it, then all of a sudden you're added to their email list so they spam you with a thousand emails and capture all of your information," said Vigeant.

The problem? Hackers will copy what the legitimate site looks like so they can see the information you give them.

"There will be two or three charges a year later from the same company, although I've never ordered from them."

After waiting more than eight months, Vigeant never even got the items she purchased.

"Out of pocket I lost $300 to $400 dollars," she said.

How to spot a fake profile?

You can spot a fake profile if the user only has one or two pictures, a recent date the profile was made, and very few friends living in the same region," said Det. Jon Price with the El Paso County Sheriff''s Office.

"We work hard for our money and work hard for the things that we get," said Vigeant. "It's frustrating to know you've just thrown your money away and there's people out there taking advantage of that."

Price said Facebook is becoming a place for hackers to constantly hunt for new victims.

"Everybody has a Facebook account,  it's the best way to meet and contact people," he said. "Obviously, it shows a lot of preferences, the stores you shop at, and they can bind all that information just off of your home page."

The moral of the story?

-Keep your distance from Facebook ads offering up cheap deals from businesses overseas

-If you find a site or company on your newsfeed that seems legitimate, google them to see reviews

If you know of a scam, report it immediately to the Internet Crime Complaint Center or the city's Fraud Prevention and Detection Policy Division.

If you'd like us to investigate your story, email us at www.scambusters@krdo.com

How many Facebook scams have been reported in our area?

Data from the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado

 

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