South Yorkshire Police has issued a warning after numerous victims were tricked into giving away their details or clicking on a dangerous link by cyber criminals posing as a friend.
Dannielle Lee, the force’s cyber protect officer, said: “We all know that social media is a brilliant way to stay in touch with friends. It was particularly important to many of us during lockdown, and now we're able to get out again many of us are using platforms to share photos and updates of our reunions and celebrations.
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“Unfortunately, cyber criminals are lurking on these sites too. Hackers can access accounts and then pose as someone you trust to trick you into giving away your personal details.
“In recent cases, mainly on Facebook, South Yorkshire victims have been told that they have won the Postcode Lottery or a Facebook competition. Their 'friend' has asked for their details and encouraged them to click on a link which is unsafe.
"As part of the scam, the hackers are also then able to take over the victim's account and will go on to target their friends too."
If you have been a victim of cyber crime or fraud, you can report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040.These are Dannielle’s top tips for staying safe:
1. Be wary of unusual messages from friends asking for personal details or financial help. Even if the message appears to be from someone you know and trust, double check it's really them by calling them or speaking with them in person.
2. Keep your social media accounts secure· Have a strong password by using three random words, such as phonechocolatetable· Have a different password for every account· Turn on Two Factor Authentication (2FA) - a measure which strengthens security by requiring two methods of identity verification, e.g a password and a code texted to your phone.· Make sure any recovery contact details are up-to-date3. Look on the National Cyber Security Centre website for guidance on recovering an hacked account https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/recovering-a-hacked-account