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Social Networking Fraud

Social networking sites are great ways to connect with people you have not seen in a long time. The sites are also filled with many hoaxes, and internet scammers are increasingly looking to social networking sites as a way of finding new victims.

Do not believe everything you read

If you see something posted on a social network site that seems too inflammatory or too good to be true then it probably is.  Search the internet using keywords from the post to see if other sites are reporting the post as false.  If a post is encouraging you to act, do not do so until you have fully verified the post.

Social networking applications

Social networking applications come in many varieties.  There may be thousands of different applications that you can connect to your social networking account with just the click of a button.  They may be quizzes, games, tools, or devices that promise to help you organize your social networking account.  Many applications are innocent and perform exactly as they are described, but not all applications are innocent.  Before installing an application read carefully what information about you is being shared and with whom.

Limit what you share

Don't post information about yourself online that you don't want the whole world to know.  The Internet is the world's biggest information exchange.  Many more people could see your information than you intend.

  • Find out how different sites work before deciding to join.  Some sites allow only a defined community of users to access posted content; others allow anyone and everyone to view postings.

  • Keep some control over the information you post by restricting access to your page.

  • Keep your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, birth date, and bank or credit card account numbers to yourself.  Any information that may be used as a security question should be protected from disclosure (i.e. your birthplace, elementary school, first pet, mother's maiden name, etc.)

 

This site is for educational purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice.  For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.  Credits: Federal Trade Commission; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security; National Cyber Security Alliance.


 

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