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Beware of Facebook rental scams

DENVER -- Imagine getting a Facebook friend request from someone close to you and chatting with them on social media, only to learn later that it’s really a stranger looking to steal your private information. That’s what happened to an Aurora family.

A woman who only wanted to go by the name of Joan tells FOX31 a crook created a look-alike Facebook page and used it to make phony housing offers to her friends and family.

Some handed over their addresses and bank account numbers hoping to take advantage of a good deal.

"Do you realize how many people you’re hurting, how many families you’re hurting?”, Joan said.

Donald McLaughlin of the CPCyber security firm tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers the scam is becoming one of the most widely used on social media platforms.

"They can scrape the image, the profile images, the data and essentially replicate a fake profile page," he said.

McLaughlin advises anyone with an account to change their settings to private. Pick up the phone and call any family member or friend to check out requests.

Watch for red flags like unusual grammar and newly opened accounts in the name of people you’ve known for a long time. You should also make sure to use the two-step authentication option on your accounts, which requires an extra sign-in, especially on your phone. This feature will alert you if someone is trying to log into your accounts.

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