We’ve all probably received Facebook friend requests from total strangers. We don’t know them at all. They’re not friends of friends.
If you are on a quest to have a pile of Facebook friends no matter who they are, then you will add these people. I only add people I really like in real life. So no matter what they message me, I don’t add them.
Lately, Facebook has been suggesting that I add some friends of friends. Facebook thinks I might know these people! So far, all of them are women around 21 years old (based on the birthday written on their personal Facebook page). They have no other profile information on Facebook. They have one profile photo that while a picture of their face is really a picture of their… shall we say… breasts. In some sort of skimpy top. Some of these women pose alone. Others pose with another stereotypical hot and underdressed chick.
All of them have about 15 Facebook friends, and when I poke around, I find that these friends seem to have nothing in common. They’re not in the same location. Not the same age. But they are almost always all MEN. I’m assuming men saw boobs in their Facebook requests, and said, “yes, please.”
Sure, people like cleavage, but this might be one of many serious scams.
It might seem harmless to friend on Facebook some boobs you don’t personally know in real life, but it can actually lead to a lot of really undesirable outcomes.
They now have access to your personal information.
Based on what you put on Facebook, these strangers might know where you live. Where you tend to go (Foursquare check-ins). When you’re not home (Foursquare check-ins). Who you’re married to, dating, who your family are. Where you work. Maybe even when you work. They could know a lot about you.
Did you put contact information into Facebook? They might have your phone number, cell phone, and email address. With enough revealed about yourself on Facebook, this could potentially lead to identity theft.
They now have access to MY personal information.
But Facebook likes to extend things out to “friends of friends.” That means some of the things I post can be seen by the person behind the Boobs account. If you commented on something I posted, that fake friend sees it. And if I’m not careful, that info might be where I live. Where I work. Who’s in my family. Places I go. When I’m not home. My phone number and email address. Et cetera.
Which they can now use for more realistic spamming.
Let’s say a friend of mine named Jim is friends with one of these Boobs, and is also Facebook friends with me. Based on information these fake accounts can scrape, they could easily email Jim at his email address and make it look like it’s from Debbie Levitt. Jim might be more likely to believe any wacky thing the email says since he thinks it’s from someone he knows and trusts. Compare that to getting a spam email from Dr. Waldorf Tecumseh Flywheel. You might ignore that outlandish name as someone you don’t know or trust.
But now, it looks like I’m emailing you. And I’m in trouble! Or I need you to click on something. Lord only knows what Fake Me needs you to click on and what information you put in when you get there. 🙁
Only make real friends your Facebook friends.
Please be more careful about who you friend, especially if you’re my friend. I don’t want you to get scammed. I don’t want information you thought was for friends only to be in the hands of people with bad intentions. And I don’t want my information in their hands either.