By Robert Siciliano, Identity Theft Expert

Nov 5 - For the past year, I've been screaming about the trouble with social media as it relates to identity theft, brand hijacking, privacy issues, and the opportunity social media creates for criminals to "friend" their potential victims in order to create a false sense of trust and use that against their victims in phishing or other scams.

I predicted long ago that the problem will get a lot worse before it gets better and there's no question about it, criminal hackers have taken hold and are in full force.

We hear about a new Twitter phishing scam almost daily, whether it's via direct messaging or a shortened URL.

My spam folder is filled with emails from Facebook phishers, requesting new login credentials, or a "friend" who's sending me a video that's actually a virus.

Not too long ago, it was big news when someone had their Facebook account jacked by someone who impersonated the victim, claiming to have lost their wallet in the UK and begging for a money wire.

Lately, I see a story about another victim every week.

Robert Siciliano, Identity Theft Speaker with ID Analytics discussing Social Media Identity Theft on Fox, Boston.

Last time I checked, Facebook had more than 400 million users and Twitter has more than 50 million. These numbers jump exponentially every month, and old and new users are still being victimized.

James Carnall, manager of the cyberintelligence division at security monitoring firm Cyveillance, says, "Social media cybersquatting is where domain name cybersquatting was ten years ago".

Scammers aren't just stealing identities and spreading malware. They are brand jacking in ways that are hurting companies' bottom lines.

While many may not have sympathy for the bottoms lines of billion dollar corporations, this hurts the little guy, too.

Knock off software, hardware, merchandise, and movies ultimately cost legitimate taxpayers jobs and hurt the economy when the money is heading to criminal hackers elsewhere in the world.

Liz Miller, vice president of the Chief Marketing Officer Council, says, "Counterfeiting operations are highly organized, are very global and are picking up steam because of the economy."

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