As part of the Better Business Bureau's Top Ten scams, the Muskego Police are warning users of popular social media sites to make sure you know who your friends are.
It's easy to pretend to be someone you are not, especially on the internet. Are you really friends with all of your “Friends” on Facebook? Do you have a lot of personal information on a dating site? With so much information about us online, a scammer can sound like they know you.
There are tons of ways to use social media for scams, but one this year really stands out because it appeals to one’s natural curiosity…and it sounds like it’s coming from a friend. Viral videos claiming to show everything from grisly footage of Osama bin Laden’s death to the latest celebrity hijinks have shown up on social media sites, often looking as if they have been shared by a friend. When you click on the link, you are prompted to “upgrade your Flash player,” but the file you end up downloading contains a worm that logs into your social media account, sends similar messages to your friends, and searches for your personal data.
Muskego Scam of the Week!
On February 9th, a Muskego resident called the police department to report that both she and her daughter had received phone calls on their cell phone advising them that their debit cards were no longer available, and they needed to enter 1 on their phones for more information. Fortunately, they knew something was up. They contacted their bank immediately, were issued new debit cards, and were not out any money.
"Scammers are counting on you being caught off guard with their call to you. They are betting on victims accepting an automated or official sounding phone call will convince you to go along with the scam just long enough for them to get the information they need to clean you out, or open an account in your name," explained Lt. Dave Constantineau. "Take the time to read all that information your bank sends you, or at the very least, call your bank and ask them what their procedures are for notifying customers of a possible account compromise. If you don’t automatically take every call you get at face value, you may not have to get by on your good looks."
(Editor's note: Similarly, I've received several calls from a place called "Card Services" and when I get an operator on the line to ask them to remove me from their call list, they hang up. If they don't want to answer questions, that's also a huge red flag.)