In a move aimed at reducing the increasing incidents of online frauds perpetuating through its platform, Facebook has reportedly blocked several profiles which were been used by cybercriminals to lure Facebook users to send them money.
Facebook said that it has become aware of attacks which are known as 419 scams that basically involve a fraudster accessing the login details of a user and then requesting the user’s friends for money.
Typically a message goes out the friend list of the user whose account has been compromised by stating that the person is stuck somewhere and needs emergency help which can be sent though say a Western Union money transfer.
It is important to note that US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also recently issued a warning to internet users about the proliferation of 419 scams though social networking sites including Facebook and asked them to be extra vigilant while using these sites.
Though 419 scams, which are also known as Nigerian scams, have been around for some time now, their prevalence on prominent social networking sites such as Facebook is a recent development and users should be extra vigilant while responding to an urgent money request over the internet.
Facebook is only attracting widespread attention because it has more than 300 million users now and this number is only growing. Furthermore, people are still gullible and don't necessarily expect to be scammed by a close friend. Other growing social services like Twitter have also been hit by such 419er scams.