Tuesday, 11 November 2014

How to Protect Yourself From Facebook Hackers Who Contact You As Friends!

I was connected to Facebook the other day, and I received a chat message from an old friend of mine, someone I knew at the university, and to whom I never talked since that time, that is some 19 years ago.After some chat about how each one was doing, he asked me if I could do him a favor: He needed a recharge card for a cell phone for someone in Paris, and he told me that he will transfer money to me via a money transfer service.I was feeling that it was strange to receive a favor request from a friend to whom I haven't talked for ages, but it was maybe logical since his country of residence was not the same as mine. Thus, I asked him when he wanted the card, and he said "right now, today".

Then he added "I don't like to ask anything from anyone, but I really need it, and because you're like a brother to me, I am asking you... "I was never like a brother to that person! Was there a secret virtual bond between him and me without me realizing?Still, since the favor he asked for was not a big deal to me, and since I like to serve friends, I was going to follow. I enquired further, and he told me to get him a 3 months recharge card or 2 cards of 1 month, which is not very familiar to me because I don't know how the recharge cards process works.All that happened through Facebook chat. Right after, and while I was preparing myself to go get the card, I started reasoning:-What was the eventuality of a friend to whom I haven't talked for 19 years contact me suddenly and ask for a favor?-Why would a friend to whom I was never very close tell me I am like a brother to him?And then it came to me that it was not him, that it couldn't be him.

It was someone using his account to request recharge cards from his contacts or other favors.There was no doubt to me anymore that my friend's account was hacked, and that the person who contacted me was a hacker trying to take advantage of the bonds and relationships of my friend. Maybe if I asked him a question about my friend or how I knew him, etc. he could even answer because Facebook contains a lot of personal information.I looked in my friend's Facebook page if any information about his mobile number or email was found (even though email is not even secure because the hacker may have reached his Facebook account from hacking his email, or he may have also hacked his email account) to contact him and tell him that his account was hacked, but I couldn't find any.I then told the hacker that I will contact him to give him the card number, and as expected he told me that his mobile was not with him (under repair): actually I didn't even know the number, I was just bluffing. I told him that I couldn't give him the card if I couldn't call him, he first asked why, then he said that he will contact me.

In my case, and even though the friend that contacted me was someone that I haven't talked to for years, I believed at first that it was him. But the hacker could have done better, and read in the hacked account past chats or in the hacked account contact friends walls how the hacked account holder used to interact which what friends in particular, when, in which way, etc. and thus the possibility is there.This is why I decided to write this post, so that:- If a friend (even a close one) contacts you via email or Facebook or whatever electronic means (chat software, small messages, etc.), you do not communicate personal information to him or her until you make sure in a way or another that it is him or her- If you feel someone is asking you for something strange or unusual, do not hesitate to be suspicious, because it is the right attitude.- Most importantly, use different complicated passwords for all your electronic email and social accounts with a lot of special characters and a combination of numbers and letters both upper and lower case.
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