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New Facebook Scammers Lurk in Help Community; Pose As Facebook Support, Offer Toll Free Tech Support to Mess You Up and Get Your Money

Tue December 15 2015 10:33 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=76669
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Facebook.com has a help community, but there are some scammers lurking in the community that are out to help themselves to your money — not help you with your Facebook problem.

Today, several people were offered a toll free number to call in response to help questions that were posted at … Facebook.com/help/community

Facebook officials allowed several user-generated questions to remain answered by scammers without any moderation or supervision for at least two hours Tuesday. The lack of oversight and moderation of the replies, could have allowed several victims to have the security of their personal computer systems compromised.

Here’s how the scam is attempted. A group of offenders with a toll free number act as employees of a call center working on behalf of Facebook. When a Facebook user posts a question about a feature that isn’t working, the scammers reply to the question, and tell the Facebook user to call the toll free number. The scammers even represent themselves as working for specific departments depending on the help requested — like “The Timeline Department.”

The “employees” of the call center were reported to have had a thick Indian accent or Mideast accent and deployed a scam similar to an old Microsoft Tech Support scam, where offenders pretended to be Microsoft tech experts. With today’s scam, the offenders tried to get Facebook users to approve remote access to their computers, so that the problem with Facebook “can be identified.” Their next step is usually to tell the user that they have a problem with their own computer, and that this problem is a technical problem with the Facebook user’s computer. Of course “the fix” requires a credit card payment to the scammers.

The two methods attempted for remote access utilize LogMeIn, Inc. (LogMeInRescue or support.me) technology and/or TeamViewer (TeamViewer.com) technology. Both are legitimate proprietary remote control computer packages that are used for tech support and remote training. Both companies have information on their websites that encourage reporting of scammers, so they can suspend the offender accounts.

In previous scam methods unrelated to Facebook, victims were called, either at random or from a mailing list. Criminals claiming to represent a computer support service, such as Microsoft, would tell users they are infected by malware. The offenders then ask the victim to give them access to their computer by installing a remote control package, such as LogMeIn or TeamViewer. The offender would then disable the victim’s computer with malware or by deleting files. Most of the offenders are seeking credit numbers to bill for their “technical services” to “fix the technical problem” but many victims worry about malicious files being installed, or personal and private information being installed, or keyloggers being installed that could capture keystrokes and passwords.

Fortunately, the remote access only works during a particular session, and a victim would have to be duped twice to fall prey and allow malicious software to be installed on their computer. The remote access packages require the victim to accept (in an alert message) any files that would be transferred to their computer, and this would occur after the victim gives access of the remote package session ID and password to the offender on the telephone. Most savvy tech users would become wary by the time the file transfer was attempted, but some could fall victim to the offender’s lies, and possibly go ahead and allow the file transfer if the offender aggressively tried to persuade the victim that the file transfer was necessary. Even without a file transfer, full remote access would allow scammers to delete critical files that could cause harm to a computer. That’s one method that scammers might use to get victims to make credit card payments to the scammers.

Facebook Message Seeking Nominations for Star Contributors

We’re on the lookout for new Star Contributors, and we want your help!

You may have already seen Star Contributors and Rising Stars answering questions in the community—well, we’re in the process of expanding the program, and we need your help.

Have you noticed someone providing awesome answers in the community? Are you active in the community and interested in getting involved in the program? Use the contact form below to nominate yourself or another member of the community for our Star Contributor program:
https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/460791717379257

We’ll review your submissions and get in touch with anyone we think could be a great addition.

Not familiar with our Star Contributor program yet? Learn more:

https://www.facebook.com/help/333355536847633

— Facebook Help Team (an official Help Community Message)

Facebook has a checkmark with a blue circle near contributors that are part of the official Facebook Help Team.

In today’s scam, victims could be a little more vulnerable to being tricked because they could believe they were receiving authentic help from Facebook — especially since the solicitation by the Scammers occurred on official Facebook community help pages, and solicitation occurred in response to a victim’s specific response for help.

Facebook removed the scammer’s phone number and messages from community help pages sometime by about 3:00 p.m. CT. The 877 toll free provided by the scammers posting on Facebook has also been associated previously with scams faking technical support from AT&T, Comcast, NetFlix, Google Mail, and Yahoo!.

Fake Comcast Scam Promoting Tech Support Using the Same Toll Free 877 Helpline

YOU WILL RECEIVE FULL SUPPORT FOR:

CONFIGURING COMCAST EMAIL ACCOUNTS
CONFIGURING EMAIL ACCOUNT ON MICROSOFT OUTLOOK WITH COMCAST EMAIL
COMCAST EMAIL ACCOUNT SPAM FILTER SETUP AND ENABLING BLOCK RULES
HELP WITH EMAIL SEND & RECEIVE ISSUES WITH COMCAST
COMCAST MOBILE SETTINGS SETUP & CONFIGURATION
CONFIGURE OUTLOOK TO WORK WITH GMAIL, HOTMAIL, ETC.
SET UP AND CONFIGURE ISP EMAIL ACCOUNTS
RESOLVE EMAIL PROBLEMS
SETUP MAIL ACCOUNTS TO OPERATE BOTH ONLINE AND OFFLINE
BACK UP EMAILS, CONTACTS, AND CALENDARS.

As of Tuesday night, the Facebook Help Team did not post any alerts on the Help Community page warning users not to respond to any messages using a toll free number. Facebook has no Toll Free telephone support.



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IMPORTANT NOTE: All persons referred to as subjects, defendants, offenders or suspects, etc. are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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