Oooppps: frauds, money robbers, identity thieves on Facebook?!

05Feb09

identity theftFrom CNN.com: (…) While reports of extortion and false impersonation have been common in phony phone calls and fake e-mails, similar fraud hasn’t been reported on Facebook until recently. Now a number of complaints are surfacing.
In response to the trend, the Better Business Bureau in late January issued a warning on its Web site, intended for Facebook’s 150 million users: know who your friends are and keep your sensitive information private.
In the Seattle case, a hacker appeared to steal Rutberg’s identity to get money from his friends by toying with their emotions.
In Wisconsin, police accuse an 18-year-old man of posing as a woman on Facebook to get high school boys to send him naked photos of themselves. (…)
There are primarily two ways to stay safe on Facebook, said Jim Lewis, director of the technology and policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. First, make sure your computer anti-virus programs are up to date; and tell online companies you want better privacy protection, he said. (…)
Facebook says it is taking measures to reduce impersonations. The popular site also offers these preventative tips for those who want to take the security of their online profile into their own hands:
• Be suspicious of anyone — even friends — who ask for money over the Internet. Verify their circumstances independently, either by calling them directly, or checking with mutual friends.
• Choose a strong password and use unique credentials for each of your Web accounts. Facebook says hackers tap into one site and then try to reuse passwords on others.
• Use an up-to-date browser that features an anti-phishing blacklist.
• Use and run anti-virus software on your computer.
• Reset your Facebook password if you suspect your account has been compromised.
• Have more than one contact e-mail address. This will help if one of them is hacked.
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