REMINDER: Old scams don’t go away — they just get filtered better

Threats & Hacks

Have you checked your “Other” Facebook inbox recently?

Probably not. No one does and when I did, I was reminded why I hadn’t looked at it in months.

You can check yours now. Just click on the Message bubble on the top right interface of any Facebook page. On the window that pops up, you’ll see “Other” next to “Inbox”.

otherinbox

It’s probably all spam.

Laura — one of our F-Secure Facebook friends — clicked on her “Other” inbox the other day and got a blast from the past.

It was a genuine “419 Scam” or advance-fee fraud, someone trying to convince her to send a stranger money by appealing to her compassion or greed.

419

For years, these messages from princes in foreign lands who need help getting their treasure back have been a joke on the web. But they still exist because — I know this is hard to believe — they still work. But you probably don’t see them anymore because the filters on our email get smarter every day.

Back in 2009, Facebook warned its users about these kinds of scams:

In this attack, commonly known as a 419 scam, fraudulent individuals access Facebook accounts and pose as the account owner, claiming to be stranded in a foreign country without access to money. Once they’ve logged in, the scammers send Facebook Inbox and Chat messages and may even post status updates to the person’s profile asking friends to send money, usually through Western Union, a money transfer service.We’ve posted the full transcript of a real chat conversation between a Facebook user and a scammer to the Facebook Security Page, along with tips to avoid being scammed and instructions on how to report a compromised account. We’ve also worked with Western Union to help educate consumers about this scam. Western Union has posted a warning about the scam on their website, and they continue to educate their employees on this and other scams.

And though you think you’d never fall for these dumb scams, someone probably is right now. So be sure to remind your newbie friends and family that sending money to someone you only know or is only contacting you through Facebook is as dumb as it sounds.

What’s the best old school scam you’ve seen recently?

Cheers,

Jason

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