Each week, the Identity Theft Resource Center works with some of the top industry experts to provide consumers with updates about threats to their personal data. Scam Detector leads the way by publishing a top ten list of scams, fraud attempts, and other threats each week, ones that are either new or on the rise. Take a look at some of their more recent top scams or fraud attempts.
#1 – Online Dating Scam
While online dating has always had a reputation for identity thieves and cybercriminals, there are fully legitimate and transparent dating websites that have actually led to happy relationships. Scam Detector reports that online dating scams are on the rise, though, quite possibly for the very reason that many of us know someone who’s successfully met someone through a dating site.
If you are ever asked for money from someone you’ve met online, DO NOT give in. It can even be months after you two have started emailing or even speaking on the phone, as scammers who have nothing better to do than play around online all day keep several victims strung along. Anyone who requests money for anything—a sob story, a lost job, even tickets to come visit you in person—does not have your best interests at heart.
#2 – Text Spying App
There are a number of advertisements online for apps that let you spy on other people’s text messages, but the reality is that a number of these offers are actually pathways to download malicious software to your computer or mobile device, along with taking enough of your personal identifiable information to steal your identity.
While it’s good that parents are concerned about their kids and want to know what they’re up to, if you have to rely on a secret spying app to tell you what your teens are doing, you might want to examine your current parenting style. If you’re interested in one of these apps to monitor your significant other, your co-workers, your boss, or other people, then some might say that accidentally infecting your own computer with a virus is your just desserts. Be aware of the kinds of apps you’re downloading and using in order to avoid becoming the victim yourself.
#3 – Facebook Dislike Button
Facebook is rumored to finally be working on a “dislike” button. For those not in the know, Facebook currently offers users the option to click Like on people’s content, which basically amounts to saying, “I agree with you,” or something more innocuous like, “Now you know I saw this.” Since users can see who among their friends clicked Like on their posts, it’s a quick way of communicating that you got the message.
Unfortunately, the end result could be that users must click Like on something like an announcement that a beloved family member has passed away, or that a family dog is still missing. Others have shared highly-charged emotional news articles, and the only message their friends can convey is “I like this.”
Facebook is said to be addressing that issue with a Dislike button. Soon, instead of clicking Like when your college roommate posts that her mother has passed away from cancer, you will be able to click Dislike. It’s not to say that you don’t like her post, but that you saw her announcement and you’re heartbroken for her. Clicking Like just felt… wrong.
With this major announcement that will shift how Facebook functions, scammers have come out in full force. There have already been reports of malicious software masquerading under the guise of “Download the new Facebook Dislike button by clicking HERE!”
Rest assured, when Facebook finally unveils one of the biggest changes to its entire mode of operation, you will be made aware of it. Also, you won’t have anything to download as Facebook is already a web portal, not a piece of software. Avoid the scams and help spread the word on your social media page; you may even get a few Likes for it!
For the rest of this week’s top scams, visit Scam-Detector.com or the ITRC website under the Current Scams & Alerts section. Be sure to share this information with others so they can stay informed and protect themselves.