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Facebook_August14_CSocial networks are “in” at the moment, it’s hard to find someone without an account with at least one service. The most popular is Facebook, and it’s even gone so far as to completely disrupt modern marketing and branding procedures for organizations of all sizes. With this popularity, scammers are taking advantage of the system and trying to trick people into giving away their credit card and private information.

The scam is a virus that injects itself into your Facebook page and flashes messages asking you to donate to a children’s charity. If you click donate, you will be asked for your credit card, CVV – the number on the back of your card – billing address and name.

What’s special about this scam?
The first thing to note is that while this scam poses as a children’s charity, there are currently no children’s charities that ask for money directly through Facebook. There is another unique aspect to this scam, it tailors the message to the predominant language of some local areas including: English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and German.

Each version of the message is tailored to take advantage of popular charities in the related countries. For example, in the US and Canada, it asks users to donate to disadvantaged children in Haiti. It also takes advantage of local URLs that make it appear more legitimate. To date the domain names used are: hopeforthepoorchildren.org, fundcauses.com, lwbspain.blogspot.ca, and childfund.de.

If you or your employees have seen a message like this, it’s best to logoff the network and conduct a virus scan. To prevent something like this from happening, never give out your credit details over Facebook, especially if you’re asked for them in a pop up window. If you suspect a message or an action is spam you can also report it to Facebook Security. For ways you can utilize Facebook in your company, while still remaining secure, please contact us.

Published on 16th August 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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