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Facebook friends could be Nigerian princes

Even your Mum could be a secret Nigerian scammer
Even your Mum could be a secret Nigerian scammer

The latest plan from the Nigerian scammers is to compromise a person's Facebook account, then send messages out to the friend list asking for cash.

These emails, dubbed the Nigerian 419 fraud, are commonly found in inboxes the world over, with bad spelling and grammar from a person claiming to be a Nigerian prince contacting their father's close business contact.

Well, apparently that's not working, so hacking into a person's Facebook account, pretending to be stranded somewhere without a phone and in urgent need of cash is the new way of doing things.

Me crz broked

Usually the poor use of grammar might set the alarm bells ringing... but most people have at least one friend that thinks saying "Me crs now broked, can we do da ting laterz?" (An actual message from a TechRadarite's Facebook inbox) is alright.

Facebook account details have become hot property on the black market for this very reason, as receiving a message from someone via the 'Book is as good as a phone call to some people.

Programs that harvest the details are downloaded from a bogus Facebook message, often asking you to go to a video site to see a movie of yourself, and when asked to 'upgrade' the video player, malware is downloaded instead.

Best get safe from now on then... otherwise all your friends could be angry that you don't even acknowledge their attempts to help get you home.

Gareth Beavis

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth was in charge of phones, tablets and wearables at TechRadar for the best part of a decade and now runs the entire editorial team. He can instantly recommend the best phone for you, or can be found running around the nearest park with the latest fitness tech strapped to his wrist, head or any other applicable body part.