People connected to the internet use it for a wide range of purposes, often to catch up with friends on social media or randomly surf the web.

Unfortunately, your social media friend may not be who they appear to be. Scammers earn victims’ trust by taking advantage of social networking sites and often pretend to be someone the victim already knows. They may send out a message or two with COVID-19 news, a fundraising request or perhaps a great deal on a product.

How the scam works

While scrolling through Facebook, a message pops up in Facebook Messenger from your friend, family member or neighbor. At least it “looks” like them because the profile picture and name match. From here, the conversation goes one of two ways. In one version, your “friend” tells you about a terrific deal they found online or a funny video they want you to view, often including a link to the deal or video. All they want is for you to select the link, share the news, or simply respond to their message. They may ask you to share the deal with other friends or post it on your page. With their recommendation, you may decide to follow the link or participate in the deal. Stop and think: Would this person usually pass along this type of information, or is it a little out of character?

In another version, the “friend” claims to be raising money for a charity to…

Read more…