FaceCrooks Helps Protect the Innocent From Viral Facebook Scams

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Q: Is there an easy way to avoid all of the Facebook scams I'm being warned about? I'm always hearing about a new one and end up paranoid every time that I log in.

A: With something like 600 million users and growing, Facebook is must-visit territory for scammers and spammers. Not too many days separate one warning about a to-be-avoided message or wall post from the next. Usually, it's quite easy to tell that someone -- or something -- is trying to make you the victim of a scam: You get a friend request from someone you've never met with a name full of Chinese characters, all of a sudden ten of your friends are shouting at you to "OMG! Watch this video!," or a message finds its way into your inbox that looks a lot like traditional email scams. For many of us, these signs are obvious, but others might need a bit of help. That's where FaceCrooks comes in.

FaceCrooks is a running blog that documents scams. "Our mission is to monitor and chronicle the seedy, unsavory and sometimes silly side of social media," the website's 'About' page reads. "Seems like every day a story surfaces about someone getting busted for doing something stupid or shameless on Facebook. We search the web for these stories and post them here for your amusement and convenient."

In addition to the blog, FaceCrooks offers a 'Safety Center' that provides visitors with basic tips and best practices for staying safe while using social media. It's not an exhaustive list, but it is a good place to start for beginners.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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