Social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, Flickr and LinkedIn are becoming increasingly popular by the day.
With some 100 million or more people belonging to such sites, the opportunities for cyber crime are immense.
It’s not only the members of such sites who are at risk either. There have been many cases of impersonation on social networking sites, meaning YOU could become the next victim, even if you never visit such internet sites.
If you’ve been paying attention then you will already know how to keep your kids safe on MySpace.
Now it’s time to clue yourself up on the 5 main types of scams that are to be found on social networking sites.
Over the coming days I will look at each of them and offer tips on how to avoid them.
The Fake Identity
Setting up a new profile on the major social networking sites is an incredibly simple thing to do.
For criminals this presents a tremendous opportunity as it allows them to affiliate themselves with just about any identity, whether that is a real person or not.
For some, a fake identity may just be a means of having fun online, however warped that intention may be.
For others, far more sinister motives guide them, from arranging risky meetings to making abusable connections and many other shady reasons.
I personally have a MySpace profile, though I probably only access it once or twice a year.
Designed as an experiment, I have acquired over 1,000 friends in the last few years, despite the fact that I have never interacted with anyone there.
Of course some of those may just be genuine, friendly people. Others, however, have peppered me with unsavoury links and even marriage proposals!
Avoid This Scam
Protecting yourself from fake identity scams on social networking sites is very easy.
A little bit of common sense should be enough to remind you that not everyone online is who they say they are.
Before interacting with new friends be sure to check them out and never, ever, arrange to meet anyone in real life unless you take sufficient precautions to enable your safety.
Also, monitor the search engines, especially the most popular one – Google, in order to discover if your name or pictures are being used by others.
If they are, then you can at least warn your friends that you have been impersonated.
This is just one of five posts in a series on social networking scams.
Read the rest here –
- Part 1 – The Fake Identity
- Part 2 – Malware
- Part 3 – Profile Hacking
- Part 4 – Identity Theft
- Part 5 – Spam