The FBI is warning social networking site users of the potential of having their accounts compromised. It seems that the bad guys are now scamming users out of their account information which they can use to attack your computer. The scams usually starts with a spam message that an unsuspecting user responds to and then leaves themselves open forĀ  attack.

The report also states:

Marking the commencement of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday warned that there’s been an increase in hijacked social networking accounts and that cybercriminals are using these accounts to defraud victims’ friends.

Since 2006, there have been 3,200 reports of account hijackings, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Facebook’s security blog includes a transcript posted in August of a chat conversation in which this very scam is played out.

“Pretending to be Derek’s friend Jill, the scammer tells Derek that she was mugged at gunpoint in London, and that she needs him to wire her $890 immediately,” Facebook explains. “Derek becomes more and more suspicious as the conversation progresses and ultimately realizes that the person he’s talking to isn’t his friend, and that the story he’s being told is a lie.”

Another common scam, the FBI said, involves phishing spam that presents a fake notice about some issue requiring attention, such as a terms of service violation, account expiration, or unexplained account activity. Messages of this sort often seek to prompt recipients to click on a link that leads to a malicious site and to provide personal information or account details.

The reason that cybercriminals seek to abuse social networking accounts is that messages from friends have an appearance of legitimacy.

This is just another type of scam that we all must be on guard against. Your best protection is to confirm any suspicious messages with your friends to determine if they really have sent the message.

Comments welcome.

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