Facebook users are being warned to watch out for Nigerian scammers masquerading as friends on the social networking site, after an Australian woman was sent a message asking for money from a conman who had hacked into her friend's account.
Google employee Karina Wells told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) she was sent a message from a friend's account which claimed he was stranded in Lagos, Nigeria, and asked her to send A$500 for a plane ticket.
Wells says the imposter used good English but she became suspicious when he called a mobile phone a "cell".
She played along with the fraudster and, by pretending to help, obtained the details of a Western Union account the money was to be sent to. But rather than making the transfer, Wells sent the details to Facebook and the relevant authorities.
The SMH suggests the fraudster obtained the Facebook log-in details through a virus delivered by e-mail or a bogus Web page. Once installed, the virus could have sent the hacker the victim's Facebook details.
In his blog, Graham Cluley, from security firm Sophos, warns: "We will no doubt see more electronic conmen using stolen Facebook identities to steal money directly from the innocent by posing as their online buddies, unless more people take greater care over securing their computers and personal data."
Cyber criminals target Facebook users - The Sydney Morning Herald