Below is from a personal finance news letter I receive:
"A Friend of a Friend Might Be a Scammer
A primary component of using social media is connecting with friends.
Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of this in order to steal your
identity. Known as "farcing," these scams start when you receive a friend
request from someone who supposedly shares mutual friends with you.
Once you accept the request the scammers search your online profile to
collect personal data about you, such as your hometown, schools you
attended, employers, siblings, and vacation spots. They often go a step
further by contacting you directly through the site's direct messaging
feature to ask more questions about you, based on the information you've
already posted. After you have accepted their request, they continue their
scheme by sending friend requests to your friends, and then their friends.
Take these steps to protect your social media identity:
* Use the privacy settings on social media websites to manage who can
access your profile.
* If you get a friend request from someone you don't know, don't
accept it. If you are interested in accepting it, ask the mutual friends
that you supposedly have in common who the person is. If they can't give you
definite answers about the person, ignore the request.
* Be cautious if you receive direct messages from new friends that
request details or your personal information.
* Notify the website if your profile has been hacked or images have
For more tips to avoid Internet scams in general, check out the online
safety information <https://www.usa.gov/online-safety> .