Facebook responsible for 33 percent of divorces, says survey

Survey says Facebook causes a third of divorces. Photo via Billy Alexander.

Facebook, you home-wrecker!

A recent survey showed that as many as 33% of couples in the United Kingdom cited Facebook as a major cause or factor in their divorce. A British website, which focuses on divorce related news, Divorce-Online, surveyed readers and found that an alarming amount of divorcee’s in 2011 blamed Facebook, in full or part, as a reason for their divorce. Allegations of online flirtations or ‘online affairs’  was the number one reason, followed by unflattering status remarks about spouses and friends reporting a spouses inappropriate behavior to their partner.

Oops, busted!

The ease and availability of such online flirtations and affairs is not the only Facebook temptation, Mark Keenan, a spokesperson for Divorce-Online says that people need use extra caution when posting to their walls as courts are now allowing wall statuses to be submitted as evidence which could cause lasting ramifications, especially when child custody issues are involved.

Twitter proved to be more family friendly. Only a mere 20 divorce petitions in 2011 mentioned Twitter.

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Facebook scam: Free airline tickets or gift cards

Facebook users targeted for free Southwest Airlines ticket scams. Photo via Facebook.

Will I ruin my credibility if I admit that the lure of a free Victoria’s Secret gift card temporarily rendered my B.S. meter inoperable? Happening upon a ‘Frugal Parenting’ Facebook page was where I fell for such enticement? (Best underwear ever!) Not only did I fall for it, I gave them my cell phone number! Lucky for me, my brain fart was circumvented by divine intervention when I lost my Internet connection just in time. (What are the chances?) My phone never blew up and I never got the gift certificate.

These kind of ‘freebie’ offers are the latest scams targeting the vulnerabilities of those finding themselves in a relentless financial pinch, along with 200 million other schmucks. While they seem pretty harmless at first glance, it’s the excitement of winning an attainable, mini-lotto that is met with misguided gullibility. The truth is, there are no free gift cards. There are no free Southwest Airlines tickets either. There is no free vacation, no free Gap clothes, no free Target card etc.

Part of the problem — the scam presents itself as a recommendation from a trusted administrator of a site you have ‘liked’ and appears to be credible. Or one of your schmuck friends falls for it and then posts it to their wall and everybody thinks, “Oh, well, Emily did it and thinks it’s the bees knees, I trust her.”

Examples of posts from other Facebook users go something like this:

“I just got my Starbucks gift card. Only 5 minutes of my time and I’m set with coffee for a month.”

“This came just in time for the holidays. I needed a new bra and I have some left over to buy a few gifts. I didn’t have to do anything but take this short survey.”

Or in the latest Southwest Airlines Facebook scam of the same genre:

“i [sic] didnt believe it would work but it was, got it here..[LINK] try for yourself i just figured i would share with everyone.” (Source: consumeraffairs.com)

While many of these scams are passed around through friend to friend wall viruses, many house themselves on legitimate frugal parenting or frugal living Facebook pages where people may find truly legitimate ways to earn a few bucks taking surveys or sharing marketing information. While other Facebook pages are set up solely as a clearing house for these scams. As quickly as Facebook can take them down, new ones crop up with hundreds of erroneous paid ‘likes’.

What are these scammers hoping to accomplish with trying to give away free stuff on Facebook?

While some of these scams use your information to sell to unscrupulous, off shore spammers, other ask you to download software which allows the scammer access to your Facebook account.

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Facebook porn virus scam

Hackers have been littering Facebook with pornographic and violent images on the social network site’s user news feeds.

Facebook confirmed on Tuesday that it was investigating the security breach, which caused the offensive images to be splashed all over unsuspecting users’ profiles.

Online security expert Paul Ferguson told Reuters that Facebook is ripe for security attacks because it “pulls in a lot of content from outside sources.”

Ferguson added, “It seems every other day there is some new Facebook ‘threat,’ but this is just the new reality of Web 2.0 and social networking. It is ‘low-hanging fruit’ for criminals.”

Called “one of the worst security breaches” in Facebook’s seven year history, scam artists duped users into entering malicious code via a URL, giving them complete access to the victim’s Facebook account, according to the Washington Post.

Another security expert, Daimon Geopfert, told the Post that the public relations fallout is not going to help the growing group that is questioning Facebook’s security.

Geopfert said, “The technical pieces of this [latest attack] aren’t going to matter. The idea that it happened and that the platform is more risky than you thought is damaging.”

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Men at higher risk of ‘unknown friend’ Facebook scams

Pssst, guys...Megan Fox wants to be your friend on Facebook. Screen shot via Transformers movie.

This just in — Men are pigs.

And that’s why they lose their judgement when a pretty woman tries to friend them on Facebook. Apparently, they just can’t help themselves because their brain stops working when they see women wearing sleazy clothing, bending over or smiley coyly in some random stock photo. While women retain their ‘BS Meter’ when approached on Facebook by a good looking stranger. Via a poll which spanned over the great pond from the UK to the USA, the results are — vagina’s are much more skeptical of the opposite sex.

According to the Daily Mail, of the men and women who do actually friend unknowns, there’s only about a 5% difference in how much personal information the user gives out, whether they’re male or female.

Because men are easy targets for this kind of scam, they put themselves at greater risk for the “unknown” Facebook scam.

So, what are these unknown hotties trying to accomplish? (First of all, if you really think the smelly, fat, drunken jerk behind the monitor who is trying to get dumb dudes to fall for this trick look like the Playboy centerfolds in their Facebook pictures — not only have you lost your judgement, but you shouldn’t be allowed to even use a computer.)

Time Magazine asked Gary Davis, Director of Marketing at McAfee and he said the scams are efforts to steal identities or in some cases, bullying or stalking.

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‘Lost all respect for Miley Cyrus’ Facebook scam

If one of your Facebook friends posts a status update claiming outrage over the latest antics of Miley Cyrus, be wary of clicking on any accompanying links.

The message and link is likely to be the effort of a scam artist, and clicking it will give them access to your personal Facebook info as well as re-posting the message on your own wall, spreading it to more unsuspecting victims.

The messages generally say, “SICK! I lost all respect for Miley Cyrus when I saw this photo” followed by a shortened and disguised link. Besides reposting, clicking the link will also redirect the user to a CPALead survey page, which gives the scammer a payout each time somebody fills out and submits the questionnaire.

If you’ve found yourself a victim of this Miley Cyrus scam, you can simply delete the status update from your feed, and update your settings by going to the drop down menu at the top right of the Facebook screen and click on Privacy Settings -> Apps and Websites: Manage Settings -> Remove unwanted or spammy apps.

A Facebook spokesperson told MSNBC that the company has implemented “numerous defenses to combat spam, phishing and malware, including complex automated systems that work behind the scenes to detect and flag Facebook accounts that are likely to be compromised.”

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Mark Zuckerberg Facebook lottery email scam

If you’ve received an email from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claiming you’ve won a million bucks, sorry to say that it’s a scam.

Like most emails that say you’ve won the lottery, or inherited a fortune from the uncle you never knew you had in Nigeria, ones for the Facebook 2011 Sweepstakes are also completely bogus.

The Better Business Bureau warns recipients of these emails that they are likely to contain malware or phishing scams to try and gather your personal information to use for nefarious purposes. Other ruses try to get the recipient to wire a large amount of money to receive the prize as a processing fee:

“Your details (e-mail address) falls within our European representative office in Amersterdam, Holland, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of US$1,000000 will be released to you from this regional branch office in England.”

What “play coupon” you ask? Exactly. One of the biggest red flags that you didn’t win this sweepstakes would be that you never even entered it. The spelling and grammatical errors are also a dead giveaway that the emails aren’t even being sent by someone who speaks English as a first language, much less Mark Zuckerberg.

Recipients of this Facebook lottery scam email are encouraged to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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