The first time I saw the “impostor scam” was on myspace. One after another about 6 or 7 of my friends myspace accounts were hijacked. What followed was my friends sending me messages about viagra and bogus malware sites. It was obvious that they’d been hacked, but they usually catch it a few days later and send out a message to apologize to everyone. It seems not social network is exempt from the imposter scam.
Enter the Facebook Imposter Scam:
The Facebook Imposter Scam is the same exploit that hit myspace. Users accounts are hacked using phishing techniques. Basically, users are lured into clicking on what looks like a legitimate link, they are scammed into giving out their username and password (sometimes with a phishing site that looks like “facebook” a “facebook imposter”). Once the user enters the username password, the criminal has there information and can do whatever they want. What they typically do is use the account to advertise a product, service or scam to EVERY friend on the victims list. The facebook imposter will even use the victim’s account to scam others.
This scam earned its way on the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
The best way to avoid falling prey to this imposter scam, is to watch out for outbound links. Always hover over alink and look at the bottom right-hand corner of the browser to see where it is actually going. Type in the supposed link into the address bar rather than clicking on outboud links. Pay attention to phishing warnings that myspace, search engines, browsers and facebook give you.