Hobbies, sport and recreation News Senior Safety

Scam messages on Messenger – beware!

By Editor Italy

These days an old Messenger scam is circulating again: you may receive a message that appears to be sent by a friend of yours. The message might say “Is that you in the video?” or “Looks like you …” or other similar phrases and would contain what looks like a link to a video with a high number of views. This kind of messages creates great curiosity and we tend to click on the link without thinking too much.
Clicking the link takes you to a fake Facebook clone site, which asks for your login credentials to “verify your account information”. For safety, always check carefully the link, certainly the site in question will have an address that has nothing to do with Facebook, despite the fact that the page is practically identical to that of the famous social network.

If we have stumbled upon the scam, the first step is to use a “clean” PC or smartphone that is different from the one with which we entered the scam link. You will need to log into our Facebook account, immediately go to Settings and change the Facebook PASSWORD. The use of another computer or smartphone is important because the virus in question could intercept the new password and therefore act in any case with the new credentials. Once this step is done, before returning to Facebook from your mobile, we recommend that you do an antivirus scan in order to eliminate any traces and prevent scammers from stealing your new password as well.

If you open Facebook from your computer, this type of virus, which is called malware, acts differently depending on the browser used. If you are using Mozilla Firefox you will see a fake Adobe Flash tool update notification. On Chrome, on the other hand, you are redirected to a fake YouTube page that asks you to update an extension to view the video correctly. Users with MacOS and Linux computers are instead prompted directly to download a file for playing the video. In all these cases your data is in danger and if you enter passwords or other sensitive data the scammers can copy and use it for their own purposes.

If you receive messages similar to those in the images, we recommend that you NEVER click on the link that appears, even if the message comes from a friend or relative you usually hear on Messenger.

One thing that can be done to limit these scams is to immediately notify the friend from whom these messages are coming, so that they know their account has been compromised.

No matter how many levels of security we have on our computer or mobile, common sense remains the best defense in such situations!

Always pay attention!