Facebook is one of the most widely used apps across the world. Due to this very reason, it also attracts a lot of scammers to the platform. Scammers use various tricks to lure the users and make them fall into their traps. Though such scams are neither unusual on social media platforms nor have happened for the first time, this new scam has surfaced on Facebook’s Messenger app, the texting application of Facebook.
How does this work?
This scam was first exposed by Sophos, a cybersecurity firm. It has revealed that scammers are now using the Messenger app to steal the login credentials of the users. The modus operandi used is to first lure the users by sending a link to the user which has a message ‘Is it you?’ and getting them to click on the link.
If the user is tempted to click on the link and ends up clicking on it, then the user has most likely fallen into the trap. The link would take the user to a page that mimics the Facebook login screen. This would seem like a normal login page where we usually enter the credentials of our Facebook account to log in. However, this is a fake page that is being displayed only to collect the username and password of the user. The login details would be used by the hackers and they would log in and take your account into their control by changing the password.
This isn’t the first time scammers are using this method to trick the user into sharing their passwords. However, this was mainly used only in emails, to hack the user’s mail passwords but this technique being used on the Facebook Messenger app is a new scam that has started happening of late. This is how people usually end up losing control of their accounts.
All of us might have seen someone or the other in our circles say ‘My account has been hacked’ or ‘I’m unable to login to my account’. That could be due to the fact that their account has been compromised. Scammers collect valuable details from the account like personal information, access the chat history and also access their photos and locations. This information is critical and might even pose threat to the security of the individual.
How to stay away from such scams?
When some unknown stranger who is not part of your circle tries to contact you via Facebook chat, do not respond or click on their message. Even if you end up opening the chat, if you see some links, never click on them. This is the only way to protect your account and save yourself from the embarrassment caused by hackers.
However, if you end up clicking on the link by mistake and see a page asking for your credentials, before entering the details, do check whether the page has “HTTPS” enabled and whether the name of the website is correct and has no misspellings or random characters or hyphens in the URL. If you see typos in the URL, then it’s a clear sign that something is not right with the page.