Over the years, we’ve heard a lot about scams. Just recently we have heard a lot about Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme. Some of my clients could tell you about numerous check or money transfer scams going around. People from all over the world, prey on US Citizens.

Some of the most vicious scams appear online. From the world’s larges auction site, ebay, to social circles like Facebook, criminals are there, looking for the unsuspecting and the trusting.

Not too long ago, JR Raphael wrote an article on Facebook schemes (5 Facebook Schemes That Threaten Your Privacy) for PC World. The article made it to the front page of MSN.

Here recently the most popular Facebook Scams have been Phishing scams, trying to collect usernames and passwords.

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If you are unsure about a communication and whether it is a scam or not, here are a few things you can do to find out, before loosing your money!

  1. If you are sent messages or emails, about a friend being robbed when out of the country, ask yourself if you knew about your friend’s plans to leave the country, ahead of time. You can also call the person who is asking for money and speak with them directly. If you are still unsure, contact other mutual friends or family members to find out if they knew about this person being out of the country.
  2. If you need another way to verify the identity of the person who is contacting you, ask a question only you and your friend would know (Stay away from things like birth-dates, anniversaries, or personal information. If this person stole your identity, they could easily know this information now, too.).
  3. Go to the Online community website (I.E. eBay, PayPal, MySpace, Twitter or Facebook) and contact their support team directly. You can usually find information about how to contact them by going to the “HELP” or “SUPPORT” links found on the web sites.
  4. Remember, legitimate communications, from Online Community Web Site Support Teams, will be directed to you from the same domain (I.E. http://www.DOMAIN.com) as the site you are using. (If you are a member of eBay, you can go to their site at http://www.ebay.com and email from their support team will come from an email address that ends in “@ebay.com”
  5. Incidentally, if you get an email or post, claiming to be a support group for the Online Community you are a member of, and you are given a link to follow to get help, the link will have the same domain in it starting with http://www.domain.com/…

BOTTOM LINE: If you are going to be part of be solicited to participate in one of the Popular Facebook Scams. Don’t get me wrong, having a Facebook page is a fantastic way to improve web presence. However, you need each of your various online locations to remain secure. Falling prey to one of these scams, could result in loosing access to your Facebook page, or any other company web site, for that matter.