More than 20,000 pieces of malware attacked social networks in 2008 alone, according to online-security firm Kaspersky Lab. That's no surprise, either: while email is still the most spam-filled medium, researchers suspect that social network cybercrime is growing at a far faster rate.
"People are used to receiving spam and malicious messages in their email, but it is much less common on Facebook," says Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with Sophos UK. "They are lulled into a false sense of security and act unsafely as a result."
You can avoid becoming one of the many who make that mistake.
We've dug up the dirt on five scams currently posing a threat on Facebook. We turned to analysts who study them as well as to users who have fallen for them, all to help spread the word about how these things work and how you can best them. (Facebook representatives did not respond to our request for comment.)
Knowledge is the greatest weapon against becoming a victim. Read on, and arm yourself well.