Facebook users are being targeted by scammers offering “Christmas Bonuses”.

Who Is It Targeting: Facebook Users

What Is It: Facebook users are receiving messages from individuals from their contact lists about winning a Christmas Bonus from Facebook.  The messages are actually coming from the cloned accounts of friends and state that the individual has one a Facebook Christmas Bonus Giveaway.  The target is then directed to contact a “Facebook Agent” who will message that the winning is a random contest sponsored by Powerball. The scammers will then ask for personal information in order to deliver the winnings.  They may also ask for a small “transfer fee” to transfer the money into the target’s account. Needless to say, once the money or personal information has been given, the scammers disappear and do not award the “bonus”.

What Are They After: Personal Information and/or Direct Payment

How Can You Avoid It: If you receive a Facebook message stating that you have won something, chances are it is a scam.  Especially, if you have not entered any contest.  Scammers are using cloned profiles from your friend list in order to gain trust so even if the message comes from a “friend” you should not trust it.  You can simply delete the message and inform your friend that their Facebook account has been hacked or cloned. If you have already given them your personal information, call the Identity Theft Resource Center at 888.400.5530 to see what steps you should take to protect yourself.