Nigerian Scamsters Want to Be Your Friend

Con artists try to fool Facebook users by posing as friends in need
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2008 6:53 AM CST
Internet fraudsters have hopped on the social networking bandwagon and security experts say users should look out for spammers, conmen, and hackers.   (AP Photo/Facebook)
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(Newser) – Nigeria's notorious cybercriminals are looking for some buddies, Ars Technica reports. The conmen have infiltrated social networking sites like Facebook by filching passwords and contacting users in the guise of a friend who suddenly, urgently needs funds. Internet security experts fear the new tactic could prove a lot more effective that the standard scamming emails, as it hijacks the identity of someone the target knows.

One Australian woman nearly fell for a plausible imitator until she noticed several odd choices of wording—and started wondering how her friend happened to be stranded in Lagos needing plane fare home, anyway. Social network users are advised to treat all online communication with as much caution as they would messages in their email inbox.
(Read more cybercrime stories.)