Facebook users across the world are being warned to keep an eye out for a suspicious message that is part of a cruel new social media scam.
Over the last couple of days many users of the social networking site have been led to believe their account has been cloned after receiving the a message that claims the sender has received a duplicate friend request from the recipient.
The user is then urged to warn their friends by sending on the same message with many unfortunately falling victim to the scam and potentially providing access to personal details without their knowledge.
“Hi… I actually got another friend request from you which I ignored so you may want to check your account,” the message reads. “Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears… then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too… I had to do the people individually.”
Sadly the message is quite believable making it easy for the scam to spread quickly around the world through unsuspecting victims. However, thankfully many others who have seen through the devious hoax have taken to social media to warn their friends.
“You didn’t get a Facebook friend request from me because I didn’t create another account. I’ve gotten I’d say 10 messages on Facebook saying that since Friday, it’s a scam people, stop sending it,” one person wrote on Twitter.
While a second said: “There is a scam going around on Facebook. Don’t fall for it. You ARE not BEING HACKED.”
you didn't get a Facebook friend request from me because I didn't create another account. I've gotten I'd say 10 messages on Facebook saying that since Friday, it's a scam people, stop sending it.
— Tony Ducey (@tducey) October 7, 2018
There is a scam going around on facebook. Don't fall for it. You ARE not BEING HACKED!
— K A T I E B U G (@KateAnn41552989) October 8, 2018
Unfortunately cyber crime is not uncommon with recent data from Scamwatch revealing $48 million was reported lost to over 38,000 online scams between January and August this year. While official numbers cannot be compiled as many scams go unreported, it’s believed over six million Australians have been affected by cyber crime last year alone.
Hoping to put a stop to the increasing number, Scamwatch is encouraging all Australians to help reverse the threat of online scams throughout Stay Smart Online Week.
The organisation has released a list of helpful tips that will hopefully decrease the number of victims caught up in online fraud.
The website advises people to always keep their computer security up to date, choose passwords and PINs that would be difficult for others to guess and especially don’t click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from banks or other trusted organisations.
Scamwatch also urges Aussies to be wary of free downloads, check reviews for online shopping companies and never give unsolicited caller remote access to computers.