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Plenty more have come and gone before seemingly disappearing altogether. As a gay man, I’ve received a carousel of friend requests from smiling, chiseled Europeans like Francisco Bastida Pulido, reminiscent of the Belgian orphan who catfished me back in the mid-aughts.“Does anyone really fall for this? Said reasons can include: To spam or spread a virus; to market and advertise; to test friends behind their back; or to harass an ex.” I wondered aloud in the office last week.“Absolutely,” replied my fellow staff writer John Mc Dermott, laying out the logic: Brain: You’re getting catfished, idiot! “But usually the goal is to make connections and then send spam links or try to pull off scams,” e.g., romance scams, lottery scams, loan scams, access token scams, etc.That said, they probably warrant caution, so I reach out to Paul Roberts, who covers hacking and cyber threats as editor-in-chief of the cyber-security website , to better understand what these alluring — yet clearly malevolent — Facebook friend requests are all about. Most people aren’t that beautiful, Roberts says, stating the obvious.The scam is basically to become friends with you to gain access to your friend network.Perhaps they eyeballed your social graph, and again, made an educated guess.For most people, their preferences — of all sorts — are discernible by looking at their publicly available information.”This isn’t unique to Facebook.Linked In has the same problem, as does pretty much every other social media platform, Roberts notes.
Recently, the men on our staff have been inundated by Facebook friend requests from strange women with whom we share zero mutual friends.
The spokesperson says Facebook uses a range of automated systems to help detect and stop fake accounts, but they recommend not accepting suspicious requests — i.e., those from people you’re already friends with on Facebook; those from an attractive member of the opposite sex with whom you have no mutual friends; or those claiming to be “looking for love.” He adds that you should also be cautious of links, files and offers you receive unexpectedly — especially from people you don’t know.
The scam seems nebulous and minor-league — so much so that it’s tough to understand the endgame.
You've practically seen each other inside out yet there's no tension. But those guys who have a girl best friend and those girls who have a guy best friend can vouch for all the crazy, fun, dramatic, disgusting and nonsense things that are discussed and exhibited day in and day out. So if you're one of those who are LUCKY enough to have a girl/guy best friend, here are some conversations that you've definitely been part of. A friend in need is a friend indeed Girl: Let's go out.
Boy (long pause): If that means you'll take another thirty minutes to get ready, no.
It’s a big issue, Roberts says, but an endemic one.