Seasonal Facebook Scam Steals Money Plus Personal Information
Just in time for the holidays, the Facebook Christmas Bonus scam has reappeared. Fraudsters are sending direct messages via Facebook in attempts to steal sensitive information as well as money from victims.
Anyone using Facebook may be a target of this scam. This warning to Facebook users comes from a post on the Identity Theft Resource Center (IRTC.) website
What is the Facebook Christmas Bonus Scam?
- Fraudsters are using cloned Facebook accounts to send messages to targets. The cloned Facebook profile used to send the messages, impersonates someone from the target’s friend list. This adds some creditability to the trickery.
- The target receives a direct message from someone on their friend list that claims the friend has won a “Christmas bonus” or “Facebook Christmas Bonus Giveaway.”
- The friend’s fake account endorses the scam [Figure 1], stating they have won a giveaway and explaining how easy it was to get the money.
- The fraudsters ask the winner for personal information so they may deliver the prize
- The scammers may also ask for a transfer fee to help cover the costs of delivering the prize money to the victim’s bank account.
if the target is fooled by the Facebook Christmas Bonus giveaway they are tricked into handing over sensitive personal data that may result in identity theft. They also give away banking credentials and money to pay for the costs of a nonexistent award.
No prize money is ever awarded or sent to the victim.
How You Can Avoid the Facebook Christmas Bonus Scam?
The Facebook Christmas Bonus Scam is not new. Different flavors of this scam have been making the rounds for the past five holiday seasons.
- Ignore it. Most unsolicited social media posts emails or text messages claiming you won something are scams. This includes the Facebook Christmas Bonus scam if you receive a Facebook message saying that you have won, it is most likely untrue.
- Do not respond to any scam messages.
- Stop the spread. Do not forward scam messages – even as a joke – to your Facebook friends. They are harmful and can result in financial losses.