How the scam works:
Scammers hack into your friends’ accounts and tag you in a series of links that get automatically posted on your Facebook wall – let’s say five of them, one after another, within a few minutes. Then, using your e-mail address found on your info tab, they’ll send you an official-looking e-mail saying that “Your Facebook account has been hacked and you need to reset the password". You believe it, because you see those five posts spamming your wall!
You click on the link provided to reset the password, and while you believe you are doing the right thing… you give the scammer all the information they need.
The latest version of this scam comes as a text message, informing about your Google account being locked (see pic). The content of the text may vary. Below there are a few variations:
"Gmail ID# 611287: Your account has been hacked. We need to call you to verify your account. Text back with "READY" when you are ready to receive this call".
"Google user #411287: your account has been hacked. Text back "SEND CODE" When you are ready to receive your reactivate number."
"Google ID #54273: Your account has been hacked. Text back "YES" to reactivate".
"Your Gmail has been compromised by hackers. We need to call to verify your identity. Reply to this message with 'READY' when you are ready to recieve the call."
These call to actions send you to a premium text phone service without knowing, for which you will pay $2/text. The hotline is managed by scammers and over a month or two you will be required to text back and forth a few hundred times.
How to avoid:
Social networking websites won’t send you a notification that your account has been hacked – they don’t care. However, you should reset your password periodically, every two to three months. On the other hand, texting a number you are not familiar with is not the best idea.
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