Rockford BBB: Scammers Are Impersonating Your Facebook Friends
I just read a statistic that says the average Facebook user has 338 friends. The stat went on to point out that the average Facebook user is connected to fewer genuine friends than people they've never met in person, which comprises 39% of users' connections.
In other words, many Facebook users consider perfect strangers to be more of a friend than their real friends are. Don't think that scam artists and other bad actors aren't aware of this, and intent on exploiting it.
The Rockford Better Business Bureau (BBB) Says It's Happening Here, Too
With the world as "connected" as it is digitally speaking, a Facebook Friend scam artist can just as easily interact with someone from the Rockford area as they can with someone on the other side of the planet, and they most certainly do.
Statista.com estimates 16% of all Facebook accounts in 2020 were fake or duplicates.
Here's What The Facebook Friend Scammers Are Up To
Let's say you're just minding your own business and scrolling through Facebook. While you're doing that, a message comes in from Facebook Messenger from someone you know...or at least think you know. It's a work friend, a family member, or maybe a neighbor.
At least it ’looks’ like them because the profile picture matches, but it is easy for scammers to find and copy someone’s photograph online and insert it, with personal information such as hobbies, education and ‘likes’ they gleaned online, into a newly created fake web page pretending to belong to your Facebook friend. It looks quite legitimate.
Next Comes The Requests For Money And/Or Assistance
As Dennis explained to us, there are three scenarios that are likely to happen once the fake Facebook Friend thinks that they've got you fooled. One scenario is asking you to check out a video link or click on another link that will take you to a "great deal."
Another way to get you is the "friend" will claim to be fundraising for a very worthwhile and legitimate organization, and they'll pressure you to donate.
The third scenario, according to the Rockford BBB, is the scammer pretending to be your friend will tell you that their account has been hacked, and ask you to friend them on a new request.
Any of these will lead to you losing personal information, money, etc.