Warning: An old Facebook scam is making the rounds again!

Published: Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 8:47 PM
Updated: Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 8:47 PM

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An old Facebook scam is making the rounds again!

>> RELATED: 5 Facebook hoaxes and scams to watch out for

If you see a status update about Facebook coming for your photos or other personal information, it's probably a hoax, and possibly a scam!

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What to look out for

These scams pop up every once in a while and here's what the latest one looks like:

As of September 27th , 2015 at 10:50p.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement atleast once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.

Another one claims that users can pay a fee to have their information made private:

Now it's official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: £5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to "private". If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (I said paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste.

Do not fall for these hoaxes. They've been debunked several times in the past.

And before you click on any link someone shares about Facebook’s privacy policy, first take a look at the company's legal terms to understand how the company is allowed to use your information. 

Get more details here.

Another old scam to be aware of

Got an email telling you that you've been tagged in a photo on Facebook? Don't click on that link in the email to see the picture! It could download a virus to your computer.

A while back, according to Mashable.com, there was a new criminal running a sophisticated malware program targeted at the 139 million Americans on Facebook.

Here's how this one plays out: You get a notification email from what appears to be Facebook. But look closely at the link in the email and you'll see Facebook is slightly misspelled as "Faceboook" (with an extra 'o').

So when you get the email, first hover your mouse over the link and confirm the "Faceboook" misspelling. Then promptly delete it!

If you do click on the link, a virus is downloaded to your computer in 4 seconds. Then you're quickly redirected to the real Facebook page. It's so seamless that most people don't even notice anything is wrong. (If this has happened to you, be sure to see my Virus, Spyware and Malware Protection Guide for free fixes that can help when you're already infected.)

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7 social media apps that could put your child in danger

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 @ 8:23 AM

Musical App Popular With Kids Could Have Dangerous Content

Livestreaming apps are useful for business and a fun way to connect with friends. There are thousands of online video feeds for you to watch—or you can go live yourself. But parents need to be aware of the disturbing possibilities when kids have access to these apps. News Center 7 Anchor James Brown looks at how to keep kids safe in this age of instant information, Thursday, July 12, beginning at 5 p.m. on News Center 7. 

Parents probably think monitoring their children’s social media is fairly simply, but social media apps are making it increasingly hard to know what minors are actually doing online.

Approximately 95 percent of all American teens ages 12-17 are online and 80 percent of those online teens are users of social media sites, according to online child safety website PureSight. Safety officials and police are warning parents that some tricky social media apps could put kids in danger.

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It’s an issue that impacts the region. Just last month, a 42-year-old Dayton man was arrested for allegedly seeking sex with a minor online. Carl Wayne Lowe was arrested on April 16 by the Dayton FBI Field Office. 

Here are 7 apps that parents need to look out for:

1. Sarahah 

Sarahah has become one of the most popular apps for the Apple iPhone. The anonymous-commentary app launched last year, and it allows users to submit honest, anonymous comments about their peers. The posts are often vulgar, negative and harassing in nature — a perfect set-up for cyberbullying.

2. Calculator% 

This is a secret app used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history. It’s an easy way for minors to hide sexually explicit content.

3. Yubo

Yubo, formerly named Yellow, is a social networking site where users can make new online friends. The app was previously scrutinized after being linked to a number of teen sexting cases in Ireland, according to several media reports. Its creators have rebranded the app, and say its working to address some parent concerns. The app, like Tinder, will show users if other people are close in location to them.


4. Vora

Vora is a fasting app that some teens who suffer from eating disorders are misusing. One recent fad diet is “water fasting,” a diet where dieters consumed nothing but water. “Water fasters logged their fasts using new-on-the-market app Vora, sharing their results on Instagram,” according to a report from Vice.

5. Omegle 

Omegle is a free online chat forum where users socialize with strangers. The app picks someone at random to have a one-on-one video chat. A recent study released by the Pew Research Center showed that 47 percent of teens regularly use video messaging apps like OMEGLE. The app has been linked to cases of older men luring in younger girls for sex.



Live.Me is a Chinese social media platform that allows minors to create and view live videos that use geolocations to share content. Viewers can find the users’ exact locations with the geolocation tag. User also earn “coins” as a way to “pay” users for photos. The app has been linked to cases of sexual grooming and cyberbullying.

7. Blendr 

This app allows kids to exchange messages, photo and videos — and then rate the “hotness” of other users. It’s all linked to GPS locations, and there is no age restriction so minors could be interacting with adults through the app.


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Instagram launches four-way video group chat

Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2018 @ 4:50 PM

Instagram's latest update will include video chat with up to four people in Instagram's direct messages. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Chesnot/Getty Images
Instagram's latest update will include video chat with up to four people in Instagram's direct messages. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)(Chesnot/Getty Images)

Instagram’s latest update is a four-way video group chat.

The company initially announced the news in May, and it is now rolling out the service to iOS and Android users. 

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“Video chat gives you the experience of realtime video in a private space and helps you feel close and connected to friends when you can’t be together. Your friends are already on Instagram, and with video chat, you can seamlessly connect across iOS and Android and without a phone number,” the company said in a statement Tuesday

The new function allows up to four friends to join a group call through Instagram direct messaging. Users can minimize the window and browse the rest of the app without ending the call.

Users can also join a call already in progress and hit the mute button to avoid additional call invites. Blocked people cannot call you. 

To begin a call, users can select the direct button, located at the top right side of the Instagram home screen, open a chat and choose the video icon at the top right.

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John Legend is one of six new Google Assistant voices

Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2018 @ 5:14 PM

What You Need To Know About John Legend

Google announced that singer John Legend will be one of the new voices of Google Assistant.

The musician and songwriter, who has appeared in multiple Google ads, one with his model and cookbook author wife Chrissy Teigen, is one of six new voices for the digital device.

>> Read more trending news 

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CNET reported that Google made the announcement Tuesday at its annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California.

The technology used for the voices on the Assistant was WaveNet, which allowed Legend’s voice to be used for different user responses in less recording time.

According to The Verge, Legend’s voice will be on the Assistant for Google Home and other Google devices, like phones and home speakers, later in the year.

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Instagram quietly rolls out in-app payment feature for faster shopping

Published: Friday, May 04, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

Instagram has begun rolling out a native payments feature in its app to some users. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Carl Court/Getty Images
Instagram has begun rolling out a native payments feature in its app to some users. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)(Carl Court/Getty Images)

Shopping on Instagram is about to become a lot easier with the launch of its new native payments feature.

Instagram quietly began rolling out the feature this week for some users, giving them the option to register a debit or credit card, set up a security PIN and begin buying products without leaving the app at all.

>> Read more trending news 

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Before the native payment option, users could tap the app’s Shoppable Tag to purchase products they are interested in, but they would be sent directly to the brand’s website.

TechCrunch first reported on the feature after a reader tipped the site off. An Instagram spokesperson confirmed native payments for booking restaurant reservations or salon appointments are now live for a limited set of business partners.

Related: Instagram is the worst social media network for your mental health, study says

In March 2017, Instagram announced it would “roll out the ability to book a service with a business directly from their profile,” but there was no mention of native payments. 

With the new option, brands popular on Instagram may find a new, successful business venue in the app’s native commerce feature. For users, this would also make the transaction more convenient. With payment details already stored, users can make quick purchases without leaving the app.

Related: Instagram is finally fixing its algorithm to show newer posts first

According to Instagram’s terms of service, the app is backed by Facebook Payments’ rules. But while Facebook has peer-to-peer payments via Messenger, it’s unclear whether the same would become available for Instagram. The option of adding a credit or debit card on file, however, is a “critical building block to that feature,” according to TechCrunch.

Related: What is a ‘Finsta?’ Teens and their secret Instagram accounts

“Instagram Payments could make impulse buys much quicker, enticing more businesses to get on board,” TechCrunch reported. “Even if Instagram takes no cut of the revenue, brands are likely to boost ad spend to get their shoppable posts seen by more people if the native payments mean more of them actually complete a purchase.”

The new feature is available for some but not all users in the U.S. It should start rolling out for all users over the next few weeks.

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