Scam Alert: Facebook Friend Requests

Are you getting lots of odd Facebook Friend Requests?

People are reporting strange activity on Facebook lately — many of them receiving odd friend requests from all of the world.

A University of South Florida Professor of Information Systems, Grandon Gill, told WTSP-TV in an interview that there may be no precise reason for the influx of friend requests you are receiving, but you should be cautious.

“For example, if there happens to be someone from the military in these networks, they might be able to start to pick up information from their profile that would identify for example who they are, where they are,” Gill said.

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Some people who try to friend you on Facebook may try to scam you.
Some people who try to friend you on Facebook may try to steal your identity.

HERE ARE 5 QUICK TIPS TO PLAYING IT SAFE …

1. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK FRIEND REQUESTS – Don’t just automatically click “accept” new friend requests. Take a few moments to look over the profile and verify that account is a real person, not a scam. I delete requests daily from erroneous profiles. Scan your list of current Friends to see if any show up twice (the newer account is going to be the scam one).

2. DON’T BLINDLY TRUST FRIEND’S RECOMMENDATIONS – Just because a link, video, or other information is shared by your (credible) friend doesn’t mean that it’s safe for you to click. It could be a fake account, a hacker, or mean that your friend hasn’t done his or her research.

3. WATCH FOR POOR GRAMMAR – Scam accounts are often full of posts that are riddled with typos and poor English. This is a good red flag.

4. ALERT YOUR FRIENDS – If your Facebook friend suddenly starts posting links to work-at-home schemes, scandalous videos or other odd content, tell him or her directly about the suspicious activity. Otherwise, they may never know that their account has been compromised.

5. REPORT FAKE ACCOUNTS TO FACEBOOK – Facebook does not allow accounts that are occupied by users who are pretending to be someone else.

Terrace is the author of Going Social, and speaks frequently on the subject of Social Media. [Click here] to see if you might like to partner with TC to host your next Social Media event!