Beware of the blondes. It's not life advice, but it could save you a good deal of trouble on Facebook, where scammers, armed with pictures of attractive blond women, are creating fake profiles specifically designed to spread malware and steal your identity.
The zombie profiles all show blond women in their early 20s with the same interests, the same favorite sport (cricket) and the same favorite movie, "Arab Spring Wedding," said Dan Tynan from PC World. Tynan compared the fake profiles, with names such as Mandy Barnes, Jasmine Wilson and Mindy Bennett, to one another, and found that each girl's profile has three photos and the exact same quotation, and the women are all friends with each other.
At first glance, the profiles appear completely legitimate; it's only when each one is scrutinized against another similar fake profile that the truth becomes clear — these blondes are bad news.
"Look at any of these profiles by themselves and you probably wouldn't stop to think twice about them," Tynan said. "Look at more than a couple in a row, though, or two of them side by side, and the ruse becomes obvious."
That ruse, called "like fraud," could make the scammers behind the zombie profiles rich, and damage your computer and your privacy in the process.
If you accepted a friend request from one of these blond bots — or anyone else you don't know, for that matter — the owner of the fake profile could easily exploit this new relationship by sending you messages, pictures or a host of other files containing malware built to steal your passwords, emails, or, in the case of a dangerous new Facebook bug, even your bank account information.
Tynan explained that fake Facebook profiles are available for purchase, from sites like buyaccountsnow.com and on Craigslist, for as little as 6 cents apiece; phone-verified accounts, ones for which a human has verified with a code Facebook sent via text, start at $1.50.