There are many kinds of scams on Facebook, but one increasingly common one involves a con artist stealing a victim’s photos and using them to set up fake pages. These pages can be used to charm unsuspecting users into a fake romantic relationship, or, like in a recent case in Missouri, be used to play on people’s sympathies or guilt to steal their money.
A woman in St. Joseph, Missouri, recently received a rude surprise when she got a Facebook message from a friend telling her that one of her high school classmates was using pictures of her baby (and photos of another child) to extort money from her ex-boyfriends, claiming the children were hers.
“I thought this girl was an innocent person. I went to high school with her and I didn’t think anyone like that would ever do this to me and I was completely wrong,” the victim said. “Just be careful who you have on your Facebook. Make sure your Facebook is as locked down as it can be so people that you’re not friends with cannot see what you post. Be aware that these things do happen.”
It’s always a good idea to strengthen your Facebook privacy settings, particularly around your photos, but in this woman’s case, even protecting herself from her own friends wouldn’t have done the trick.