Scam of the day – July 16, 2017 – Don’t worry about Jayden K Smith

Despite what well meaning friends are telling you, accepting a friend request from Jayden K. Smith will not cause your Facebook account to be hacked.  Neither will accepting a friend request from Anwar Jitou, Tanner Dwyer, Bobby Roberts or other fictional hackers about whom this scam has been warning people in various incarnations for years.  Merely accepting a friend request does not put you in imminent danger of being hacked.  However, now that I have told you not to worry about Jayden K. Smith, I will tell you why you shouldn’t accept a friend request from him.

TIPS

Accepting friend requests from people you don’t know permits these people to see what you post on Facebook, which can provide someone who does not have your best interests at heart with information he or she could use to make you or a family member or friend of yours a victim of identity theft or a scam.  Using personal information gleaned from your Facebook postings, a cybercriminal can create a phishing email with a link containing malware that you may be more likely to click on because the email or text message may seem legitimate because it knows things about you or your interests.  In addition, scams such as the grandparent scam have been aided by grandchildren posting pictures of their grandparents with the names they use to refer to them, such as Grandma or Nana. Armed with this information, your name and perhaps photos indicating you are away on vacation, a cybercriminal can stand a good chance of making your grandparent a victim of the infamous grandparent scam where they pose as you on the phone and lure your grandparents into sending money for a phony emergency.