Scam artists have recently taken center stage on LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals. Reports indicate that scammers have eyed the lucrative membership base of LinkedIn since these miscreants are fully aware that they are no longer dealing with mere teenagers but grown-ups with money.
The scam techniques are notably old and well-known as 419 scams or advanced fee fraud to email users, but it seems they have been relatively successful in social networking sites. Users have placed enormous confidence in the security provided by social networking sites that many fraudsters in turn, have taken advantage of extorting information from unknowing users.
Scammers use the old trick of posing as a foreigner looking for a business partner to handle or secure a large amount of money in a private bank account—be it in a form of an inheritance or some dubious investment. The victim need only give access to his/her bank account and withdrawals are then made instead of actual deposits.
LinkedIn is the latest in a string of security issues involving social networking sites. Others such as MSN and PerfSpot were directly or indirectly used for phishing activities. Of course, the more popular sites of Facebook and MySpace served as prime targets (or even vectors) for malicious online activities such as the installation of spyware and adware. With more innovations and services being offered by today’s social networking sites, expect to see more security breaches and cybercrime as society gets even more tangled in the World Wide Web.
We can look back at other social networking attacks in the previous months in the following links: