As you know, the scammers of the world are always scheming up new ways to take advantage of people in today’s Internet-connected world.
Last night I was alerted to a devious new Facebook/email scam that’s targeting unsuspecting moms leading up to Mothers Day weekend.
The scammers are skimming the Facebook profiles of women searching for moms who have two things publicly listed on their accounts:
1 – An email address
2 – At least one child listed in the “Family and Relationships” section of their “About” page.
The scam works like this…
First, the scammer makes a list of the mothers they find along with those moms’ email addresses and the names of their children.
Next, they send each mom on the list an email that appears to be from an online greeting card company. The email is well-designed and can easily fool most anyone that doesn’t know which clues to look for that might indicate a scam.
The email states that the mom’s child has sent them a Mothers Day greeting card and they’ll need to log into the greeting card site to view the card.
The fake website you’re directed to won’t ask you to create an account. Instead, it asks you to log in to their website using your Facebook login credentials (which is never a good idea).
If you take the bait and enter the email address and password you use to log into your Facebook account you’ll indeed be presented with a realistic looking, but fake greeting card that appears to have been sent by your child.
The purpose of showing you the fake card is to make you believe the email you received and card itself are legitimate. That way you’ll be less likely to be suspicious and change your Facebook password.
Of course the entire purpose of this scam is for the scammer to get your Facebook login info (which they will do if you enter your Facebook credentials into the form on the fraudulent web page).
As you can see, this scam can be pretty easy to fall for, and unfortunately I’ve received reports from several moms telling me they have already fallen for it.
If you receive any type of email claiming that your child has sent you a Mothers Day greeting card, contact that child and ask if they really sent one before attempting to log into a site with your Facebook credentials.
If you have already received one of these emails and entered your Facebook login info on the fake website, do the following immediately:
1 – Log into your Facebook account and enable Two-Factor Authentication on the account. That will prevent the scammer from being able to log into your account even though they have your password.
3 – Run a thorough series of virus/malware scans on your Windows PC or install AVG for Android on your Android device (depending on which device you used to enter your Facebook login credentials on the fake greeting card website).
Note: If you used an iPhone or iPad you can skip this step.
Bottom line: The scammers of the world are always eager to take advantage of the times when our guards might be down.
Unfortunately, Mothers Day weekend is one of those times. Be careful!
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