Scams through Facebook’s Messenger platform are being reported at higher rates than ever before, according to AARP, citing its own data as well that of the federal government. Since Facebook’s early days, cyber criminals have been mining Facebook’s direct messaging capabilities to scam unsuspecting victims out of money. One of the earliest Messenger scams involved a message, purportedly from a friend, claiming they were stuck in a foreign country and in desperate need of immediate financial assistance to get out. It wasn’t really the friend, however, but rather a scammer who had hacked into the friend’s account.
Facebook Scam: Here’s how this man got cheated twice, cost Rs 1 lakh
Online scams have taken a rise since more people have started using the internet at its full potential. When this man was trying to sell his furniture online, he got cheated twice and lost Rs. 1 lakh. He got a call from the buyer and he wanted to pay via Paytm or Google pay. Upon making the transaction, instead of receiving money, the seller sent the money instead. Here’s what exactly happened.
A man from Thane, Mumbai posted an advertisement on Facebook for the furniture he wanted to sell. The scammer looking for ads on Facebook, Olx and Quicker arrived on this ad and found his target. Upon setting the potential target, he called up the person and asked about the product. Without even trying to bargain, he immediately accepted to send the requested amount. However, he insisted on paying via online UPI methods like paytm or Google pay. The seller immediately agreed as he was excited to sell the product at the desired price. As he was pretending that the money is being sent, the scammer, instead of sending the money, requested for receiving the same amount.
Due to the lack of knowledge, the victim gave away the OTP and the amount got deducted from his account. The scammer then apologized saying it happened by mistake and he will immediately refund the amount. As the seller trusted him again, he again asked the victim to share the OTP and again got the same amount credited to his account. Using this method, the scammer got around Rs. 1.01 lakhs. He again suggested that he will refund the amount but at this point, the victim realized he has been scammed.
In order to stay away from such scams, it is highly recommended to never share any OTPs with strangers. Do note that sending money requires OTP but receiving money doesn’t.
How to protect yourself?
- Never accept friend requests from someone you don’t know
- Never click on links requesting personal information
- Use unique facebook login details
- Only enter personal information on a secure website
- Install anti-virus software
- Use Facebook’s enhanced privacy setting
- Receiving phishing updates from Facebook’s security page