Facebook scam “Look who just died” – have I been hacked?
One day while using Facebook, your friend tags you in a post saying “Look who just died, I think you know them” and includes a link to what seems to be a news article. Then you click the link, and you’re prompted to log in to Facebook again. But wait, that’s not a Facebook login page, instead, it’s a scam website waiting to steal your account login.
You may be asking: Even if my password was super strong, how could I have possibly been hacked? Well, chances are you were not hacked at all, this was a simple case of impersonation.
Recently on Facebook, many people have repeatedly been seeing posts from their friends similar to this. These scams are created by bots exploiting a Facebook account setting.
How does this scam work?
The bot account starts by scanning Facebook for accounts with lots of friends and a Public Friend List. After that, they will copy your name, profile picture, and any public info you have added to your Facebook profile. The bot then reads your public friends list and proceeds to tag your friends and make a post saying “Look who died” with a scam link. Sometimes the bot will even use AI to mimic your speech patterns to sound exactly like you. It looks pretty convincing at first glance and many Facebook users have fallen for this scam.
What can be done to prevent the Look Who Died Scam?
Privatize Your Facebook Friend List
When your friend list is public, you can be easily impersonated and the scammers will know exactly who to send the post to. Do your friends a favor and make your friend list private.
Here is how to make your friends list private:
- Click your profile picture in the top right of Facebook.
- Then select Settings & Privacy, then click Settings.
- In the left column, click Privacy.
- Look for the setting Who can see your friends list? and click Edit to the far right.
- Finally, select the audience of people (such as Friends) you’d like to have access to your friend’s list.
Making this simple Facebook account setting change, will help prevent impersonators from tricking your friends into being scammed.
Be Weary of Links Anyone Posts
It is important to be educated about the Internet. Remember, when you click an unknown link, there is a likely chance you’re not heading where you thought you would. Popular news sites are easily copied to include a scam Facebook account login. If a scammer gets your login info, undeniably you’ll have a hard time getting your account back. This doesn’t just go for Facebook. Any social media website can have scam links. Always remember, whenever you’re using the internet, be careful about what you click!
What do I do now?
If you, a friend, or a family member encounters a scam, you can report it on Facebook. Here’s a link to steps for reporting an impersonator account.
Do you have questions about Facebook or the Web? Appletree Mediaworks would love to speak with you.