FACEBOOK scammers are posing as loved ones in trouble to con caring friends and families out of millions.
The latest tactic by online criminals in Australia has seen people received messages on Facebook from friends or family members asking for cash.
In some cases, victims are told about a competition or an easy to obtain government grant that requires a nominal payment for shipping or tax.
A Queensland Police spokesman said: “Because the message is from someone you know the scammers hope you’ll trust what they’re telling you.
“The message is really from a scammer who has either hacked your friend’s account or created a copy profile by stealing their images and information.”
Last year, Australians lost an estimated £189million to cybercrime activities — the highest amount on record.
Authorities have now issued an urgent warning for Australians to be on the lookout after this latest scam followed a recent surge in dodgy text messages and phone calls.
Scammers told victims they had won a “mystery box” competition and spoofed the SMS domain of the airline Qantas to make the message appear genuine.
A number of people have also been stung by a telephone scam where criminals claim to be from the Australian Taxation Office and make a number of alarming threats.
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But, Facebook can ill afford another scandal after the social media company has moved from crisis to crisis during a torrid 2018.
Billionaire boss Mark Zuckerberg is under fire after a New York Times exposé revealed that Facebook secretly let Netflix and Spotify read your private messages.
The private partnerships were exposed through leaked Facebook files that highlight the company’s ongoing failure to protect user’s privacy.
This leak also revealed that Facebook had given user data to Yandex – Russia’s equivalent to Google – despite the company’s alleged “direct line” to Kremlin spies.
A version of this story first appeared in news.com.au
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