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Malicious Tagging: New Facebook Scam To Harvest Your Private Information

Here's how you can identify and avoid such scams!
Image Source: Getty Images
Image Source: Getty Images

Facebook, the popular social media platform, brings people together virtually – connecting friends, family, and acquaintances. Yet, easy connectivity also comes higher risks, as cybercriminals luring around on Facebook, are using tactics like 'malicious tagging' to steal info and to spread malware. Know these threats to stay vigilant and protect yourself!

Photo Credits: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Jodi Courtney from Brownsburg checks Facebook a few times a day to keep up with world events and connect with her friends. Recently, a friend tagged Courtney in an unsettling video post with the message "Just died in an accident." Courtney was taken aback by the disturbing post, and her immediate reaction was concern for her friend's well-being. That's when Courtney fell victim to a rising Facebook scam called "malicious tagging."


Malicious tagging is a deceptive scheme on Facebook where scammers tag you in a post with a relatable message and an intriguing video. They target a wide audience by using captivating topics to lure users into clicking the video link. Once clicked, the link redirects to an external website, prompting the user to update their Flash player or perform certain tasks. That's how malware is pushed into the system to collect personal information including login details, addresses, and phone numbers for malicious purposes. The malware can even replicate itself by tagging your friends, perpetuating the scam.

Despite appearing as genuine news reports, these posts are deceptive. Once you click on the link, it leads you to a fraudulent Facebook login page. "It's a sneaky method to steal your login credentials, either to perpetuate the scam or harvest your personal data from your profile," explained Jennifer Adamany, Communication Director at the Better Business Bureau Serving Central Indiana.

The Better Business Bureau and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office have both noted the increasing prevalence of malicious tagging as a social media scam, particularly on Facebook.

Facebook recently also released a statement acknowledging and releasing a guide on how you can protect yourself from scams. 

1. Be cautious of suspicious links.

2. Always verify the URL before clicking on any link.

3. Employ multifactor authentication for added security.

4. If you accidentally clicked on a suspicious link, promptly change your password.

5. If you get tagged in a dubious post, remove the tag, report it to Facebook, and delete it from your profile.

6. In case your friend's account is compromised, avoid contacting them through Facebook; instead, call or text them directly.