Facebook Marketplace boasts hundreds of millions of users around the world buying and selling goods. While that can be a good thing for everyday users, it also makes the platform a ripe target for hackers and cybercriminals looking to make a quick buck. And while most sophisticated Facebook users believe they know how to spot these scams, it isn’t always that easy. A writer for The Guardian recently shared her experience getting scammed on Facebook to warn others that it could happen to them.
Lindy Ralph posted a pair of men’s boots for sale on Marketplace and began corresponding with another user. When she offered to facilitate the purchase through PayPal, he declined, saying he had been scammed before. Instead, he proposed using Marketplace itself to make the purchase. So when Ralph received a link that looked like it was coming from Facebook, she didn’t think twice about clicking it. However, by doing so, she opened herself up to an attack, and soon the hackers had completely compromised her bank account. While the issue was resolved by her bank, she was left wondering how she could’ve fallen for such a simple trick.
“I feel like such an idiot. So ashamed. How did the scammers scam me, a 55-year-old, tech-savvy, educated and well-travelled Australian woman?” Ralph wrote. “It’s because the scammers are very, very good at what they do and manipulate you in ways you wouldn’t imagine.”
While these scam links seem obvious in retrospect, the hackers are counting on you not paying full attention while interacting with them. Cases like this illustrate just how important it is to stop and think twice before interacting with anything a stranger sends you on Facebook.
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