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
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.