Friday, January 3, 2014

Increasing Social Media Scams in 2013

Online Scams
Technological advancement is rapidly changing the lives of everyone. Not only for the better, but also for the worse.

The number of social network scams targeting users of sites like Facebook, for instance, nearly doubled in 2013 compared to 2012, a security vendor said.

Bitdefender said this appears to be at par with expectations that social media scammers are likely to double their profits during the holidays.

"There are two simple steps that will ruin your Christmas: click on a free voucher scam, and complete the `intelligence’ surveys that ask for your credentials and your mom’s maiden name. Not even Santa Claus will help you recover the money and personal details you lose," Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Catalin Cosoi said.

In their blog post, Bitdefender's Bianca Stanescu noted 10,000 free voucher scams already flood timelines, while 139 scams involve charity and donations.

Stanescu also noted 440 stalker scams like "guess who viewed your profile" still trick Facebook users.

"Facebook users are also exposed to over 10,000 free voucher scams that promise gifts for loved ones but deliver fraudulent surveys designed to grab their money and financial details," she noted.

Bitdefender also noted a 10-percent rise in charity scams.

"To convince users to donate money online, cyber-criminals go as far as using heart-wrenching photos of disfigured children and images of bed-riddled cancer victims, which they steal from the Internet," it said.

Bitdefender advised social media users to think twice before clicking on dubious Christmas messages that ask them to complete endless surveys.

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