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BBB Tip of the Week: Avoiding Facebook scams

The Facebook shutdown scam is making the rounds again.

Facebook members have been seeing a post in their news feed claiming their account will be shut down unless they “register” before the shutdown date. The post is not from Facebook. It is a type of click bait. In other words, it lures you in by sounding or looking official, but it is really just the bait for a scam.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to protect yourself and others from scam artists using Facebook:

• Avoid the bait. Don’t click on promotions or posts using the words “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational.”

• Just because a friend recommends, likes or promotes something, doesn’t mean you can trust it.

• Check your own posts by verifying the links and promotions you share. This can be done with a simple online search of the promotion and the word “scam.”

If you suspect your Facebook account, or that of a friend’s, has been hacked, learn how to regain control by visiting Facebook’s support page at www.facebook.com/help/ www/131719720300233.

You can report spam to Facebook by following the instructions at www.facebook.com/help /205730929485170.

To keep your online accounts secure, follow these best practices:

• Use a different, unique password for each account.

• When you are finished using an online account, log out right away.

• Use extra login security features, often called two-factor authentication or two-step verification, offered by many websites.

• Download updates to your operating system, Web browsers and antivirus software as soon as they are available.

• Discuss cyber security with friends and family, especially children.

To learn more about scams, visit the BBB Scam Stopper webpage at www.bbb.org/council/ bbb-scam-stopper. To report a scam, contact the BBB at www.bbb.org or call (509) 455-4200.

Erin T Dodge, BBB editor

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