IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Nigerian scammers ditch email for Facebook

Fraud moves onto social networking sites in the hopes of fooling users into sending cash.

The classic Nigerian email scam has upgraded to Web 2.0 and is making the rounds on Facebook.

According to media reports, Australian Google employee Karina Wells received a message on the social networking site, which appeared to be one of her friends. Claiming to be stranded in Nigeria, the fake friend asked for money for a ticket home.

Wells apparently realised the message was fake because the scammer used "cell phone" instead of "mobile phone." She reported the message and the fraudster's wire transfer details to Facebook.

In a blog post, Graham Cluley of security firm Sophos said this "is just the latest skirmish in an ongoing battle taking place between cybercriminals and Facebook users. We're seeing more incidents of unwanted adverts and malicious links being spammed to Facebook users from their friends' compromised accounts."

He added that scammers like using social networking sites because the fraudulent messages are more likely to get past junk mail filters and land in accounts, as they come from valid IP addresses and feature valid header information.

A spokesman from Facebook told IT PRO: "Only a small percentage of Facebook users have been affected by recent attacks. We are updating our security systems to minimize further impact, including resetting passwords on infected accounts and clearing out malicious content."

He added that more details on keeping safe on Facebook were available at the site's security page.

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

Meta hit with €17 million fine over multiple GDPR breaches
data protection

Meta hit with €17 million fine over multiple GDPR breaches

16 Mar 2022
Meta says Apple's iOS privacy changes will cost it $10 billion in 2022
privacy

Meta says Apple's iOS privacy changes will cost it $10 billion in 2022

3 Feb 2022
Google, Facebook fined €210 million for making it difficult for users to reject cookies
Policy & legislation

Google, Facebook fined €210 million for making it difficult for users to reject cookies

6 Jan 2022
The IT Pro Products of the Year 2021: The year’s best hardware and software
Hardware

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2021: The year’s best hardware and software

31 Dec 2021

Most Popular

Actively exploited server backdoor remains undetected in most organisations' networks
cyber attacks

Actively exploited server backdoor remains undetected in most organisations' networks

1 Jul 2022
Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline
Security

Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline

30 Jun 2022
Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022