RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A warning tonight for Facebook users! Cyber thieves are getting better at hacking into accounts and apparently pretty good at convincing some people to hand over personal information.
The very friends you have on Facebook could be your worst nightmare. Scammers are using e-mail and social networking sites like Facebook to convince you to give them money.
"People's e-mail accounts are being hijacked by cyber thieves. And these cyber thieves are using these hijacked accounts to send out desperate emotional pleas for help," said Craig Butterworth of the National White Collar Crime Center.
Once a person's e-mail or Facebook account has been hacked, the scammer sends a message to the user's friends and contacts. They often times ask for help in an extreme financial situation. In some cases, the unsuspecting recipients have ended up wiring the thieves hundreds of dollars.
"You want to verify the information. Reach out to that individual, the reported sender, verify the information. Did you send it?" Butterworth said.
Scams like this have become all too common. Thursday night Chesterfield Federal Credit Union held a seminar to teach people how to stay safe on Facebook.
"The common sense thing is if you don't know who sent it, don't open it. Make sure your computer has up to date virus software on there in case something does happen," said Chris Miller, Chesterfield Credit Union.
Computer crime experts warn that if you have a computer and access to the internet you are potentially vulnerable. If you feel that you have been victimized you should notify police immediately but you can also file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center by clicking the link to the right of the article.