(KFVS) - Police across the country have a warning for Facebook users: careful which friends you accept.
There is a chance they are actually out to scam you and your friends.
It is not a new scam, but Fargo Police in North Dakota says the scam is going around again.
Here's how it works:
It starts with a friend request.
When and if you accept it, the scammer will use their new access to steal images and other information from your profile.
He/she creates a new account under your same name and fills it with your photos, interests and status updates.
After creating a duplicate account, the scammer sends Friend Requests to your existing Facebook Friends.
Chances are good people will recognize your name and hit "accept," not realizing that the account is a fake.
They don't notice anything is wrong until your imposture starts sending out requests for money and spam links.
As the Better Business Bureau points out, those links look a lot more credible when shared by a Facebook "Friend."
That is why the BBB says always be careful what you click, no matter who shares it.
How to combat the issue:
Velsoity Electronics says it has seen several cases of this problem.
However, their concern is that there is no way verify accounts on Facebook.
That means in many cases you are left with a lot of Facebook accounts that you can't tell are real or not.
Good news: there are a few steps you can take to make sure you don't become a victim.
- Always double check Friend Requests: Don't just automatically click "accept" for new requests. Take a few moments to look over the profile and verify that account is a real person, not a scam. Scan your list of current Friends to see if any show up twice (the newer account is going to be the scam one).
- Don't blindly trust friends' recommendations: Just because a link or video is shared by a friend doesn't mean that it's safe to click. It could be a fake account, a hacker or merely that your friend hasn't done his or her research.
- Watch for poor grammar: Scam Facebook posts are often riddled with typos and poor English.
- Alert your friends: If your Facebook Friend suddenly starts posting links to work-at-home schemes or scandalous celebrity videos, tell him or her directly about the suspicious activity. Otherwise, they may never know that their account has been hacked/impersonated.
- Report fake accounts to Facebook: Facebook does not allow accounts that are pretending to be someone else. Here's how to do it.
It gets creepier...