People are now hacking into the social networking site, posing as friends in need and requesting money. There is a big article in the Swedish newspaper on this, whereby a facebook user’s friends have been conned for significant amounts of money. Due to the public nature of these profiles, hackers are able to not only identify the location of the person they are pretending to be, but they can also identify and in turn adopt writing styles in their email plead for ‘help’ – making it that much more difficult to spot a fake. What makes this different from ID theft is that it is not the person who’s id that is stolen that is the victim, although clearly it can be very embarrassing for them to subsequently explain their actions, it is that their Facebook identity is stolen and their friends who are the victims.
Tips on how to counteract this type of fraud, apart from not using social networking sites, are provided at ninemsn Today.