LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — As the ever-expanding world of social media continues to grow, con artists are finding more opportunities to strike.

On Facebook, a number of aggressive offers, including free flights, gift cards, or weight loss testimonials, are used to mask ploys to get to your personal information.

Filmmaker and author Michael Anthony is one of the victims of this scam.

Anthony’s account was hijakced by hackers, who changed his password, as well as the answers to his security questions. His personal and business pages started sending out ads for designer shoes.

“I lose a lot of money for my business,” Anthony explained.

Anthony said that his hacking ordeal began when he opened a message from a friend, who had also been hacked.

The social media watch group, Facecrooks, is doing its part in trying to prevent such misfortunes from happening.

Chopper Senft, Vice President of the group, says that while some hackers are motivated by driving online traffic to dishonest companies, others go after more personal assets.

“They sell the information, sometimes using phishing schemes to get into your personal finances,” Senft said.

Senft suggests that Facebook is always updating in order to be able to recognize and stop the scams before they happen.

“The problem is the criminal element, not Facebook,” Senft explained. “They actually do a decent job, but as soon as Facebook makes strides they find a way around it.”

Law enforcement reportedly has little it can do either, as con artists continue to evolve and become increasingly difficult to find.

When Anthony’s account was hacked, he traced the IP address of the company that posted on his Facebook, and found out that it was not even in the United States.

“The email address was from England, and the IP address came back to Poland,” Anthony said.

Facecrooks has a number of tips to help prevent your account from being hacked:

• Register your cell phone number with Facebook

• Set the strictest privacy settings

• If you get a message from a friend that seems out of character, ignore it until you speak with that friend.

For more information on Facecrooks, or if you are in need of their account recovery services, visit their website.


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