February 3, 2011

Scams on Facebook a Growing Threat , Experts Warn

There are over 600 Million users on Facebook worldwide. It's true, Facebook helps connect people around the world, and makes it easy to update your friends on just about everything. From completely meaningless information to important events, users are now publishing their private information online via Facebook, and in many cases, for the whole world to see. It's clear that many users aren't aware of the associated risk, and many people are quickly learning the hard way. Experts advise caution.

For users of Facebook connecting with other people online, especially in cases where the individual is not known personally, it can be extremely difficult to know for certain who you are dealing with. Sharing your private information with your close friends online (and worse, people you don't know) can be a fast way to become a victim of scam or fraud. In most cases, an professional international background check is the only way to truly verify a person who resides in a foreign country. Real international background checks usually include education and employment verification, ID and passport verification, document verification, public and civil records, address check, marriage records, fraud screening, and travel profile. Criminals are becoming experts at appearing to be a harmless and perfect friend, or online romance. The true objective is to steal your money or identity.

Experts warn that publishing your private information on Facebook is a very bad idea. Check your privacy settings and be certain that you have no personal information visible, such as date of birth, address, phone number, etc. Avoid publishing information on Facebook informing others when you are going out for the night, where you are going, or when you are going on vacation. Criminals use this information to their advantage, and this is often an invitation for someone to rob your home while you're out. In some cases, victims have been attacked, raped and even murdered after publishing their daily activities on Facebook. Showing your birth date and full name to the world is a great way to get your identity stolen, especially if the criminal is able to also get your address. Guard your personal information and post wisely. Check your privacy settings to be sure that no one you don't know can access or view personal information.

If you've met someone via Facebook and the relationship is progressing, be skeptical and cautious about giving personal details about yourself. You can get to know someone very well without sharing your personal data, address and date of birth, etc. If the individual resides, works or is traveling in a foreign country, contact an international private investigator and have the person verified. With online dating scams, internet fraud, identity theft and Facebook scams on the rise, it's best to be safe.

All the Best,

S. Birch
© 2011 S. Birch
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This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, S. Birch, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as stated.