Unless you were hiding under a rock, you know that Facebook made its debut as a public company on Friday, listing on the NASDAQ and closing the day valued at approximately $104 billion. Following the historic IPO, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got married in a surprise wedding that took place just a day after. So for the world’s largest social network, there is plenty to talk about this week, which means that enterprising criminals may want a piece of the action.
Last week, scammers started things off with Pre-IPO offers via email. The scams, which mirrored the 419 variety entirely, offered investors soft money in order to purchase Facebook stock. Once the stock was purchased, the “firm” would buy it back from the victim at a slightly higher price. The catch was that the victim needed to send various items of information in order to get the initial stipend of cash to purchase the stock.
It’s likely that this scam will continue, with slight wording changes and some alterations to the scope, such as a play on the initial reactions to Friday’s first day of trading, in order to lure people into the scam. “As usual, when receiving any kind of financial offer, exercise extreme caution. Use companies registered with the appropriate regulatory bodies for your jurisdiction, and if in doubt, don’t hand over any of your money,” Symantec warns.
Another way criminals may get into the Facebook cycle is by spreading links. Often these spammy messages lead to surveys and other junk offers. However, given the hype of the Facebook IPO and the wedding that followed, it’s highly likely that spammy or outright malicious links will flood Facebook.
It’s highly likely that the wedding will be targeted by scammers using BlackHat SEO scripts in order to promote malicious domains to the top of popular searches, including searchers related to Zuckerberg’s wedding. In the past, such tactics have been used to spread malware and Rogue anti-virus applications. So for those looking to dig up photos or videos from Mark Zuckerberg’s private wedding, be cautious. Any site claiming to have that rare, exclusive video, is likely to be trying to serve you up more than entertainment.
No matter what the case may be, cyber criminals will most certainly latch on to the attention that Facebook is earning and use it for their own nefarious gain. With that said, use caution when searching for Facebook related news, and avoid following random links that come from nowhere on your Timeline or inbox.