How to keep your personal info private on Facebook
Anchorage police say scammers are using information gained on Facebook to manipulate people over the phone. Here are a few simple tips you can follow to make sure you are not the next victim.
"I get like tons of requests from people that I'm not really sure of," KTVA digital content producer Mary Simton said. "Usually, the ones I don't have a lot of mutual friends with, I just delete automatically."
Simton said if someone has a handful of Facebook friends and no mutual friends, don't accept them.
"They're probably a scammer or something and they are going to try to hack into my account," Simton said. "So then I'll delete the request. Instead of confirming the person as a friend. Just hit delete instead. If you think they are a scammer, it'll ask if you think it is spam and click yes."
Other signs of a scam include grammar in broken English and the lack of written posts and updated photos of themselves.
"That's another red flag," Simton said. "A lack of photos and even recent photos. Why would someone try to be my friend if they are not even active on their account? Why is someone trying to be your friend who you have no connection with, especially if they are from the Lower 48?"
Also on Facebook, check your email and phone number settings.
On a desktop computer, you can do this by clicking on what looks like an upside-down triangle or pyramid in the upper righthand corner. Scroll down and click on settings. Once in settings, look for privacy on the left-hand side-- it should have a little padlock by it. Be sure to change your settings from everyone, to friends.
"You wouldn't give out all this information to a complete stranger on the street would you?" Simton said. "Then don't do it online."
Also, update your information as much as possible, especially your phone number.
"If you've been on Facebook for say 10 years and you've gotten a new phone number since then, and haven't updated your info, you may be getting people trying to find someone now associated with your old number," Simton said. "Instead, they are sending you requests when they are really trying to get in touch with Joe Blow or Jane Doe."
Don't believe you won anything on the site either. Never send cash, money orders or give our your credit card numbers over the phone or through Facebook messenger.
Police don't call for payments over the phone, neither does the IRS. If a person claims they have your spouse held for ransom, try to text each other. Scammers can't stop the text but they can hold you both on the line together.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
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