Even before social media, there were scams. But back in the day it was more difficult, and a lot more work, to steal someone’s identity. Now-a-days, it’s pretty much easy peasy.
A lot of scammers troll Facebook. They send out quizzes asking things like what’s your favorite pet’s name; the name of the street you grew up on; your first car; your father or grandfather’s nic-name. The answers are logged via IP addresses. Once the scammers get enough info, they can hack your passwords and steal your identity.
They are also good at sending out emails that look legit. I received one the other day at work. I never saw the email address before and it wasn’t signed by anyone, so I was suspicious. I replied with a question and viola—it came back undeliverable.
Just today I received a friend request on Facebook. Before I accept any invitations, I look at the person’s profile. First, to see if they are legit and second to see if they are friends with anyone I know. I won’t friend strangers. Period.
This guy was good-looking—clean cut and smiling. But his profile had nothing. No friends or posts. The only thing was his profile which was added back in December. His info says he’s a Lieutenant in the US Army and he’s from Houston but living in Silsbee, Texas. I ran his picture through TIN EYE.
Well, the picture is stolen:
username: Frankray name: Frank Ray
location: Los angeles, United states
marital status: single
IP address: 126.96.36.199
description: i’m a very hardworking, passionate,emotional and laid back am not perfect yet but maybe when with you all will be right and well….God fearing and very fun loving and love to protect those i truly care about. Thank you for viewing my profile, I’d hope i interest you in anyway. Don’t hesitate if i do. say Hi message: –
WHY IS IT A SCAM / FAKE:
IP is a proxy
IP doesn’t correspond location
Pictures are stolen from a known source
I was really bummed that he was a scammer. I mean he’s not perfect yet and he’s hoping he’ll interest me in anyway. Damn, how could a woman go wrong with someone so articulate! I’m almost tempted to go to Nigeria and find this poetic hardworking, passionate, emotional, laid back guy.
I really hope parents are teaching their youngsters about social media safety. It truly is a danger. Not just for identity theft, but because of child predators. They are both real threats and adults need to practice safety too.
It’s a really bad idea to post where you are. As in your location. That just gives the bad guys the heads up you aren’t home and ripe for robbing. Use caution not just on Facebook, but also with your emails.
Just like when we are walking down a dark street, we pay attention to our surroundings; we are cautious, so should we be when using the internet, etc.