Fraudsters in Facebook

Just as Facebook has served many users as a good form of communication amongst friends in social networks, it has also served the likes of thieves and fraudsters. According to BBC’s consumer rights TV programme, Watchdog, thieves and fraudsters are able to use information put on personal profiles by other users and open online bank accounts and apply for credit cards successfully.

When it did an experiment of sending out invitations to other users by a fictitious user, many responded even though they had no clue of who the person was! Not only that, they openly shared their personal information in their profiles.

Perhaps, the anonymity of it all, and the lack of face-to-face contact lead to a false sense of security, like hey, we are all friends here and you are a friend of a friend so you must be okay – cool! Also, many unwittingly scrawl personal messages on the walls of other users, forgetting that whatever is written on the wall is plain for all to see.

All this makes it easier for identity theft to take place, and with Facebook’s decision to list its members’ profiles publicly on search engines, it looks like online fraud is likely to increase, unless users exercise due precaution and common sense.


About blogscapes
An intrepid explorer into the the brave new dimensions of the blogosphere and new media landscape.

22 Responses to Fraudsters in Facebook

  1. KokChuan says:

    This shows that the world has changed. Before internet is born, the friends that we made are those that we met face to face.
    This are true friend i guess.
    Right now there are two types, cyber friends and real friends. Tat is de diff i gues

  2. alaric says:

    i find that when facebook is so popular, there is high possibly that there will be many fake profiles out there. And you will never know its real personality until you meet him/her face to face.

  3. Tee Ming says:

    Yes, theives and fraudsters can get personal information of the users through Social Networks easily. Social Networks like Facebook and Friendster should remind their users of such fraudsters in the internet. Meanwhile, Social Networks should limit the viewers to basic information of users unless the viewers are friends of the users. Companies shouldn’t allow theives and fraudsters to use just basic personal information to open online bank accounts and apply for credit cards

  4. gabriel says:

    Facebook is definitely increasing rapidly in popularity. in my opinion, at least 70% of the world is using facebook. It is a very good method to communicate with other people and make new friends. However, there will bound to be black sheeps lingering around in facebook and you cannot stop them as it is in the virtual world. Thus, i believe true friends are onli made after seeing each other face to face.

  5. derrick says:

    Although facebook is a new site of sociality, somehow there are pros and cons in it. You may know new friends and you may know cyper friends fake profile. You may limited your profile settings if you don’t really know that person in facebook

  6. lieneng says:

    i feel that facebook is just another site to make “frends” as in you will add a person who you know or you may not know. just remember to put private since there is a setting for that if you don’t want any person who dunno you to look at yours profile~

  7. Vik says:

    Yes i do agree with you all !Friendster and facebook population are becoming bigger and bigger and people are not aware about the possible dangers of having so many photos of themselves and uploading them. There are even issues like Fraudster miss using people identity. They use people identity to cheat on people or come up with a prank and stuffs like that. I think the best way for facebook and friendster should start asking their users to pay for the service being provided to prevent this fraudster stealing information.

  8. Kenny says:

    Facebook do serves good form of communication amongst friends but how many of this friends are friends you make real life?In the first place, own private information shouldnt be put on profile

  9. chua wei yi says:

    Yes you have a point here and I agree with you totally. Due to the new craze for social networking today, fraudsters are definitely using this as a route to potential internet frauds and scams. Also, users tend to give out their personal information to strangers, without realising the significance of the consequences and who may be accessing it.

  10. Zuraiin says:

    True. It is easy for fraudsters to search for their victims in social networking sites such as Facebook. But then again, it is the users of these networking sites that has the control over what they want to reveal in their profiles. Users have the option to put their profile on private. If they chose to reveal their personal info and the fraudsters were able to access their info easily, then who’s at fault? Us, or the fraudsters?

  11. Alicia says:

    I guess users of such networking sites just have to learn to be more precautious. Some personal info are not meant to be shared in its entirety, such as birthdays. Most sites allow users to choose to hide the year. People are usually lulled into a false sense of security because they truly believe that if they mark their profiles as private, outsiders have no way of viewing their information. But there are people who have both the intention and ability to ‘hack’ into such profiles if they wanted to.

  12. chew kia liang says:

    There are always white and black sheeps. The ability to differentiate between those two are always diffcult. It becomes worse when there is no face to face communication.
    With more of these similar sites coming up, more and more black sheeps coud be seen.

  13. Su Ping says:

    I think that on the Internet, nothing is safe, because we dont get face to face interaction, so you wont know if the opposite party is trustable and reliable. So must be cautious of who are you making friends with.

  14. Ken says:

    I understand that not replying to a friend is rude, but while online, your security is important as well. If your friend wants some information from you online, decline politely or arrange to meet up face-to-face so that you can pass it to him. A true friend would understand your need for caution. Remember that while relationships are important, keeping your private information safe should be paramount when surfing the web.

  15. Jai says:

    well i totally agree with this.
    people are very much into this trend of going into socialising networks. they freeling give out informations that they think might not harm them but it actually does. sites like these should enlighten such people about the downsides of giving out persol information.

  16. raphael says:

    personal information should never be revealed online.
    even though the profile is set to “private”, and you think only your friends can access your profile.

    look at it this way, if you allow your friends to view your profile, what happens if he/she happens to use it in a public computer and forgets to log off? anyone can then use his/her profile to view the “private” profiles, and get your personal information.

    i think the main problem is that alot of people arent informed on how they should properly protect their privacy online.

  17. Aaron Alexander says:

    Totally agree on the part of social networking is becoming more risky due to people out there with fake identities getting to know you. I think before we signup for any social networking sites, we have to realize that with declaring information online, we are also exposing yourself to more danger. Hence to make yourself less susceptible to online attacks, we should declare less information as possible.

  18. charles says:

    I agree that it is not safe on the internet. You do not know who you are talking to and they may be the total opposite of what you really think they are. So the one thing to do is be careful and cautious of what you put up on the internet.

  19. ziwei says:

    There are always white and black sheeps. The ability to differentiate between those two are always diffcult. It becomes worse when there is no face to face communication.

  20. Kelvin says:

    For the growth of social networks,it has been cleared that everyone has to bear their own responsibility where by when an individual joins a certain social network , he or she should know that what he or she should not enter ,maybe informations such as personal data and nowadays advertisements tend to appear in such a way that it attracts you to play a game and click it which then might be a fraud and social companies themselves should make sure that advertisements that they accepts should not be frauds and should not accept the advetisement just because of money and should think of the interest of the members.Also they should also not allow the access of member’s data or limit accesses

  21. chew kia liang says:

    ziwei, your comment looks pretty like mine.

  22. blogscapes says:

    Indeed, Zi Wei, your comment sounds like Kia Liang’s. Did you mean to add on to Kia Liang’s comment?

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