Facebook scan

Watch out for this new Facebook scam that promises the ability to hack into anyone’s account. But follow the instructions and you’ll only end up hacking your own page [31 July 2014]

The scam lures victims by guaranteeing access to anyone’s account through a hack in “three simple steps”.

It instructs victims to open up their Facebook in a web browser and go to the Facebook page of the person they want to hack. Then right-click anywhere on the page and from the popup menu select “Inspect Element”. This brings up an HTML editor at the bottom half of your Web browser.

In this editor, the scam instructs readers to copy-paste a string of code given. 

Unsurprisingly, the code does not do what the scammers claim it does. Rather, this code grants the scammers access to your own account. 

Facebook aware of the issue

Facebook has warned users before not to paste any strange code into browsers. Although they haven’t announced any plans to patch any part of its code that makes this attack possible.

Once the fraudsters are in control of your account, they can use it to post more of these fake instructions, or launch even more scams. They may also have access to your email and password, so if you use the same login credentials at any other service you’ll want to change them immediately.

If you see this kind of scam on Facebook, you should report it by clicking the arrow in the upper-right corner of the post and selecting “This is Spam.” If you have fallen victim to this scam, you should contact Facebook immediately and consider changing your password and report it to Action Fraud.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their  online fraud reporting tool.