By Amy Fowler

Facebook Security just announced a new way to report phishing attempts to the company. Phishing is a way for scammers to steal your personal information, including username, password, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and more.

If you see or receive a phishing email or message, then forward the information Facebook Security encouraged consumers to report these malicious messages:

By providing Facebook with reports, we can investigate and request for browser blacklisting and site takedowns where appropriate. We will then work with our eCrime team to ensure we hold bad actors accountable. Additionally, in some cases, we’ll be able to identify victims, and secure their accounts.

BBB has identified several common phishing scams related to Facebook, including:

Friend in Distress Scam
Facebook users may receive a message in their inbox from a friend saying that they are in a dire situation — such as stranded in a foreign country — and need money wired to them. The recipient of the message doesn’t realize that their friend’s account has been hacked and that the message was actually sent by scammers. If the Facebook user does wire money to the scammers, they have no way of recovering the money after they learn that their friend is actually safe and sound.
Phishing Friends
You see a provacative post on a friend’s wall or receive a personal message from a friend enticing you to click a link to watch a shocking video or read an unbelievable story. You click on the link and are asked whether you are 18 or are told you must agree to certain conditions. When you agree, you are actually allowing scammers access to your account or computer. Sometimes the link includes a computer virus or other malware.
Viral Wall Post
This also involves provocative messages enticing readers to click a link. However, the end result is that the post you fell victim to is posted to your wall for your friends to see and proliferate.

In addition to reporting any such scams to Facebook Security’s new email address, BBB offers the following tips to stay safe on social media sites:

    • Be extremely wary of messages from friends or strangers that direct the user to another website via a hyperlink.
    • Before wiring money to a friend in a jam, users should attempt to contact their friend outside of the social networking site, such as over the phone or via e-mail to confirm the situation. If that’s not possible, BBB recommends asking them a question that only they would know the answer to.
    • Users should always make sure their computer’s operating system and antivirus and firewall software are up to date.
    • Social networking sites are about sharing information, but BBB recommends that users take steps to keep important information private, espeically details like contact information, vacation dates and other information scammers can use to trick you, your family or friends.
    • Be selective when choosing friends. While a user might not want to be rude, BBB recommends that it’s best to decline a request for friendship if the user doesn’t actually know the person.

For more tips and information, visit Watch Your Buck, the local blog for BBB Serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin.

DSEF and Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) fosters honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. for more information.