New Virus Targets Facebook, MySpace

Social sites used to solicit money

Facebook users beware -- a new kind of cyber-criminal is targetting social networking web sites with a scam designed to steal your cash.

Alanatis Bohlen couldn't believe it when friends started getting e-mails from her MySpace page. 

"I felt livid, I was angry.  I felt like somebody came into my space," she said.

Bohlen doesn't know how someone got her password, but all of a sudden her friends said they got e-mails claiming to be from the San Diego Navy wife -- but she didn't send them at all. 

"It scared me a little bit, kind of creeped me out to think what could happen," she said.

"The online criminals are really armchair psychologists," said Jeff Debrosse from the information security company ESET.  "They spend a significant amount of time trying to come up with new ways to hit the emotional trigger to get you to let go of your money."

Debrosse said they are hearing about criminals stealing names and passwords from social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.  With that information, they are able to e-mail online "friends" and ask for money to help the person with some sort of problem.  It's all a trick according to Debrosse but it works.

"People will believe it because it's coming from a trusted source.  Unfortunately that trusted source had their user name and password stolen," he said.

Debrosse said the best protection is for users to change their passwords often and check sent messages on their networking account to make sure private information is not stolen.  And if you get an email from a friend asking for money, Debrosse said you should follow up with a phone call before every going along with the request.

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