Facebook is a place for online predators to stalk, engage and eventually lure an innocent kid to meet up in person. We have heard these stories too many times.
In this month’s newsletter, we want to cover some areas you may not be aware of, things that Facebook doesn’t really speak publicly about.
- Facebook Groups Used To “Friend” Kids: When a person creates a Facebook Group, they have the choice of making it public or private. Facebook Groups can house all kinds of crime from fraud to drugs to sex trafficking. Kids who have a low self esteem or don’t have many friends are the ones who are the most targeted because of their vulnerability. They then get lured in by pimps offering them all kinds of fun and/or material things. Facebook has had numerous lawsuits filed against them over the years because of this. Newsweek published an article on one such case. A child of 12 years old was supposedly groomed online (in social media) for over a year. Facebook now has a very clear policy for this, with excellent resources in case anyone runs across a tip on a victim.
- Photos Used For Extortion: A scammer can potentially sift through photos on Facebook, capture and download them and then conduct a reverse image scan to see if any married people are on any dating or swinger sites. They then can use it for blackmail.
- Friend Requests: Romance scams are on the rise. Friend requests come in from a handsome man or pretty woman and many people will say yes to the request. Sometimes it may show that he or she is friends with some of the people they know, which makes it all seem more believable. Next comes the “online courting” stage and pretty soon they are asking for money. Catfishers set up elaborate fake profiles to make them appear to be real which hooks someone looking for love online.
- Facebook Fraud: Targeting young women, a scammer once again took Facebook images of a victim and then created a post that said she was missing. Then 20 of her friends were duplicated and her “missing’ post was shared on all of their fake profile timelines. The scammers then blocked the real Facebook profiles so the victims couldn’t even see the fake profile of themselves.