"I Need Money" Facebook Scam

How to protect yourself

Credit card with fishhook through it over keyboard
Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

If you ever get a message from one of your friends on Facebook asking for financial help, think twice — this could be a Facebook scam. There's been a Facebook scam going around that is causing some people to lose large amounts of money — and it's not the only one.

It Starts Like This

A hacker starts this Facebook scam by hacking into your account and posting a plea for help on your Facebook page. They may even go so far with this scam as to change your username and password, locking you out of your own Facebook page. Here's the worst part of this scam: they then go on to send out messages to all your Facebook friends asking for money and stating that you are in dire need and need the money right away.

Your Friend Gets a Facebook Message

The message your friend gets from this Facebook scam looks real. It looks like it's from you. After all, it comes from your Facebook page, so who else could it be from?

Thinking the message is real, and that it's really from you, they send money to the account the hacker set up for this Facebook scam. It could be an address for them to send a check, or it could be something like PayPal. Who knows? You don't get the money from this Facebook scam — the hacker does.

What You Can Do

  • The obvious thing you can do to prevent this Facebook scam from coming from your Facebook page is to check your Facebook page every day and make sure everything is the way it should be and you can log in. This may be a lot of work for those of us who don't have the time to check their Facebook pages every single day on the rare chance that it could be our Facebook page that's a victim of this Facebook scam. So what else can you do to prevent this Facebook scam?
  • Notify all your friends on Facebook about this Facebook scam, maybe by sending them a message with a link to this warning so they can read about this Facebook scam themselves.
  • If you are the person receiving a message from your friend asking for money, call your Facebook friend or email them using their other email address. Double check, because maybe they really do need money and you can help them, or maybe it's a scam.

What Will Facebook Do?

Facebook is aware of this scam and is doing everything in their power to make sure you are safe. They have begun to set up a system that will notify people every time a change has been made to their account. This may be annoying to those of you who change your accounts a lot, but worth it if it keeps you from being a victim.

Facebook is also in the process of trying to set up security settings that will detect this type of scam and prevent it from happening in the first place.