The Facebook “Invitations to public events” scam is rising to staggering proportions. An “event” in Facebook terminology, is any proposal that you receive to share any happening or information with fellow users and friends. Graham Cluley, an industry expert, said on the subject “These spammed-out event invitations and links to survey scams are one of the biggest nuisances on Facebook right now, impacting millions of users every day.” Hidden behind these scams are easy money generating masters of deception that thrive on natural human emotions and the impulse of users to walk into the unknown by clicking on a link.
One public event scam is targeted to over ten million Facebook users. One example is the “Who blocked you from his friend list?” this one had led over 165,000 people to sign-up, with a staggering 10.3 million users still debating to respond or not. We know about the 10.3 million undecided users because there is a space to indicate that users are undecided on the scam itself. The scam takes unsuspecting users to surveys that make money for the scammer and may ask victims their cellular phone number and then sign users up for an expensive premium rate service. Victims will wonder if their private cellular number is in safe hands when obtained in such deceiving manner.
Besides the text content, one has to take time to figure out if it is a scam or not because it is presented in a very professionally looking page. The page shows the Facebook logo, colors, typefaces and even a top search window. We know that Facebook is active closing this type scam sites, but why does it take so long, and, give time to undecided users to click a link or not? We also know that the scammers will change to another page source and country of origin and continue the scam. This happens frequently.
If someone uses a major corporate logo, typeface and colors, the trade industry lawyers and investigators will make a field day and find and sue the offender ASAP, at least in the country that the offense took place. In this Web type of scam it is not that easy because it is a fast changing worldwide type of fraud. On the other hand, the fact that a scam perpetrator deletes a Web Page source does not means that it can’t be traced for evidence in court, that is why we have browser’s cache memory pages and back-up tapes.
Social media has brought some interesting challenges for mankind use of technology. We have to begin to take social media tools more seriously. We can’t make quick and careless decisions when “Adding friends” or selecting to “Share” links, we have to act the same way we do when using the banking and financial Internet transaction tools, very careful. The people’s pockets and privacy are hurt if we fail to act accordingly.