Social Media Safety Tips Beware Deceptive Friend Requests
Social media has become a prime target for scammers in recent years. Beyond sensationalized photo and video posts that lure unsuspecting viewers to click on an item for the juicy details, fraudsters have a more despicable technique to extract personal information from social media users – impersonating members of the military. Beware Deceptive Friend Requests
Facebook Friend Scams Beware Deceptive Friend Requests
A friend of mine recently received a friend request on Facebook from someone she didn’t know. She perused the personal page of this individual and saw that he posted a profile picture of a gentleman in a U.S. Army uniform next to a military Humvee. The header on this page also displayed a group of men in uniform posing for a photo. In a message he sent to her along with his friend request, he claimed to be a Captain General in the U.S. Army. Beware Deceptive Friend Requests
His biggest mistake wasn’t the one you probably have in mind. The rank Captain General is non-existent in the U.S. Army, and anyone claiming to be one has never served. While this is a dead giveaway, his biggest mistake was telling her that his name was something contrary to the embroidered name on his uniform. Also visible on the uniform also was the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC). The real SFC in the photo will always outrank and outclass a shameful Captain General scammer any day of the week. Beware Deceptive Friend Requests
Besides these glaring errors, there’s another giveaway that should have anyone turning down this friend request. The requesting individual has only eight friends. For someone with such few friends to have located and made contact with my friend without any prior contact or acquaintances in common is extremely unlikely.
The best course of action to take when you receive a friend request from someone you don’t know is to turn down the request. If you’re not sure about your affiliation with the person, look for telltale signs that the individual might not be who he or she claims to be: Don’t fall for deceptive friend requests
- Use of a non-existent rank in the military
- Claiming an identity other than what a photo indicates
- The individual has few if any friends
- Neither you nor anyone you know has any prior contact with the individual
Why would someone resort to such a contemptible means of connecting with someone? The scammer is either looking to glean enough information from an individual to hack that person’s social media account, or the fraudster is looking to use the connection as a springboard to launch a scam. Whatever the reason, accepting a friend request from someone you don’t know is always a dangerous course of action.
My friend ultimately turned down this scammer’s friend request after pointing out the glaring errors in his profile. Two days later, this fraudster’s account was deleted. Don’t fall for deceptive friend requests
Always scrutinize friend requests whenever you receive them, even if the individual claims to be a member of the military. That friend request might be from a scammer in disguise. Don’t fall for deceptive friend requests