Attorney General Rutledge warns against Facebook scams

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge warns that not everyone on Facebook is your friend.

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Criminals like to frequent highly-populated areas because there are more people. That is true if you are in a city or if you are on a social network.

Tonight, we take a look at scams that use Facebook to find victims.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says her office has seen an increase in Facebook-related complaints and she wants you to know about them.

Facebook has been in the news lately because of the way the company handles user data.

But users have other threats on the social network giant to worry about.

For example, not everyone who sends you a friend request wants to be your friend.

"Unless you really know someone on Facebook or you have many mutual friends where you can verify that person or an organization you can verify that person through, I caution Arkansans not to friend someone they don't know," says Rutledge.

If you let in a scammer, every friend or follower you already have is put at risk.

Using unique passwords and increasing privacy settings are two lines of defense.

If you receive a friend request from someone you think you are already connected with, double-check your friends or followers list. If you're already connected, the request is likely from a hacker.

The scam that the attorney general really wants Arkansans to watch out for involves the creation of a Facebook profile in someone else's name. That profile is then used to trick trusting friends and family members into donating money for one reason or another.

"And so many people are trusting because they know...well this is Jason's picture and so I know Jason and you know I can't believe he needs money but I'm going to send him some because I'm related to him or I care about him and so, therefore, people are falling for these scams," says Rutledge.

Rutledge has also seen Arkansas Facebook users recently victimized by the sweetheart scam. Love can be found online, but if you receive a romantic overture from a fellow Facebook user, the attorney general advises caution.

More tips on avoiding Facebook scams can be found on the Arkansas Attorney General's website.

Air date: March 29th, 2018

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