Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning consumers of a scam targeting the financial data of Facebook, Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail users. The scam infects its victim’s computers with a version of the Zeus Trojan virus- a malware program regularly used to commit bank fraud.
Trusteer, the computer security firm that discovered the scam, says the virus targets Facebook users by getting them to link their Visa or MasterCard debit cards to their Facebook account; enticing them with a fake 20 percent cash back offer.
Malware scams on social networks can be particularly malicious because the fraudulent offers appear to come from trusted friends. In the case of Facebook, scammers will often hijack a user’s account by getting the user to click on their post and accept their application, which can give the scammers access to all of the user’s account information, and allow them make unauthorized posts in the user’s name.
The Zeus Trojan virus has been used by scammers for years to steal financial information from unsuspecting consumers. Different versions of the virus are used by vast international crime syndicates, who have employed the virus to steal over $60 million and infect over 4 million computers in 196 countries since 2007, according to the FBI.
BBB offers these tips to users of social networks to avoid scams:
For more information on how you can keep your financial and personal data safe online visit www.bbb.org/data-security. If you think you may have been a victim of an online scam you can file a complaint with the FBI at www.ic3.gov, or call BBB at (520)888-5353 for information on what to do.