Identity Theft

The Facebook Scam That Tricks You Into Hacking Yourself

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There’s apparently a new Facebook scam that would probably make you feel like a huge idiot if you fell for it. It’s more embarrassing than anything else, because it involves you attempting to hack someone else’s account, when really, all you do is give scammers access to yours. Instead of breaking into your friend or ex’s Facebook, you make yourself a victim.

The scam lures victims by guaranteeing access to anyone’s account through a three-step hack, online tech publication Tom’s Guide explained. Instructions appear as an email or post by a potential victim’s friend. A screenshot on Tom’s Guide shows the steps, which say to go to the profile of the person you want to hack, right click on the page and select “Inspect Element” and copy the provided code into the HTML editor that pops up at the bottom of the browser.

At that point, a hack has occurred, but not the one you intended. The scammers now have access to your profile.

Perhaps you wanted access to a friend’s profile to play a joke or spy on them, but scammers likely want into your Facebook for more malicious reasons. Not only can someone learn a lot about you from the details in your profile, potentially helping them commit identity theft, they can use your account as a pawn in a larger scheme to attack others. If the how-to-hack post pops up in your news feed, flag it, and if you’ve already fallen victim to it, you may want to seek Facebook’s help removing the script from your profile.

In some ways, Facebook is a scammer’s playground, as is often seen in viral content spread in the wake of global disasters. You have to be careful what you engage with on social media, and if you suspect an account of yours has been compromised, it’s a good idea to change your passwords and monitor your financial accounts, in the event someone has accessed your sensitive information. Fraud can seriously damage your finances and credit, so it helps to monitor your credit scores for signs of unauthorized activity, as well. To get an idea of how fraud can affect your credit, you can get two free credit scores through Credit.com.

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Image: iStock

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