False Friends on Facebook: Beware of the Latest Social Network Scam


With all those possibilities concerning both your personal and your professional life, who can afford to stay away from the social media? With the highest amount of active users, the social networking site Facebook has become an important part of the social life of more than a billion members world wide. What’s more, instead of limiting their online contact list to the people they actually met in real life, for many “Facebook friends” also include a number of strangers, thus offering scammers and fraudsters a chance to creep into peoples lives without ever having met or talked to them.

How Scammers Use Facebook
One of those scams has recently come to the attention of our tellows.com user who reported how they have been approached by strangers on the platform. Often using a rather common name like Amanda, Ashley, Jennifer, Jessica, Lisa or Nicole, the scammer contacts people on Facebook with a friend request, sometimes even sharing a mutual facebook “friend” as in the case of user Gary who wrote on the number 8722130108:

This actually didn’t just happen to me but some friends of mine as well. A Jennifer/Lisa/Ashley/Amanda or what have you tries to befriend you, sending a friend request, then striking up a conversation only to quickly log off again, asking you to call “her” at number xy. This is not the only number they try to get you to call or text to, but it’s all I’ve got so far. I guess that really teaches you a lesson about “befriending” strangers on facebook.

Once added, the person contacts again, often asking some random questions or engaging in a little small talk before ending the (mostly one-sided) conversation quickly with the excuse that they supposedly have to log off of facebook and stating that the other person should text or call at a certain number. A lot of different numbers that have been reported in the past few days shared a similar story. User Stan W., who reported the number 7185139068, put what most users thought into words:

[…] It seemed odd to me – who gives out their number to strangers like that? […] I just wonder what they are trying to accomplish by it?

Why They Want You to Call
Scammer could want you to call for various reasons:

  • to get your number
  • to verify your number (to be used or sold to call centers, telemarketers etc.)
  • to charge you for the call
  • to forward your call to another number
  • We agree with tellows-user Peter‘s recommendation, who commented on the number 7185139067:

    […]I don’t know how it works and what they have to gain from this, but do not under any circumstance respond to their requests!

    Numbers Associated with the Scam
    The following numbers have been reported in connection to the scam as well:

  • 3233582539 from Los Angeles, California
  • 4155240634 from San Francisco, California
  • 2534444459 from Tacoma, Washington
  • If you have been contacted by a stranger asking you to call an unknown number – especially without giving you a very good and plausible reason why, it is perhaps the most sensible thing not to react and to rather be safe than sorry. If you do suspect a scam or are already aware of a telephone number that is used for scams, do not hesitate to report it on tellows and warn others. Moreover, be careful who you add to your contact list on facebook or any other social networking site.

    , , , , , , ,

    1. #1 by Darrell Hunt - August 26th, 2016 at 17:08

      Wanted to share a scammer posing as IRS investigators
      # 619 345-1323. Ask for name & BD. Gave name but not BD. It was a woman w an Asian accent & statedshe was authorized by the IRS to investigate our taxes & needed information for their investigation. I explained that I have received these calls before & I know (have talked with IRS previously) that the IRS doesn’t call people. They send a registered letter & it contains the info they have. They don’t ask you for info. This # originates in CA San Diego area.

    (will not be published)