One of the benefits of not being very camera-friendly is that you never have to answer the question "Is that you in this video".  However, most people do allow themselves to be photographed and videoed quite frequently so there is a natural tendency to respond to such queries. But, if you've gotten such a question from a "Facebook friend" you should really think twice before you open it.

The Better Business Bureau is reporting a new scam that has exploded on social media sites such as Facebook over the past couple of weeks. The intended victim receives a message, that may or may not be from a real friend, asking the potential victim to view a video in which they reportedly appear.

If you get such a request it's probably a good idea not to open that message. Chances are the video message isn't from an actual friend but from some ne'er do well who is hoping to gain personal information about you and perhaps steal your identity.

The Better Business Bureau offered these three hints about how to keep yourself CyberSafe.

  • Always think before you click. If your friend wouldn’t typically send you that type of message, it’s best to check with them before you follow the link or type in the web address. It may have come from their account, but they could be victims too.
  • Know videos shared on Facebook play when you click them. You shouldn’t have to type in additional login information, download something or navigate to an outside website.
  • Use common sense. Scammers like to cause alarm to create urgency. You might get a message that indicates you’re in a compromising video, your password is being reset, your account is in danger of deactivation or some other situation that needs immediate attention. If it seems unlikely, watch out.

Those tips were reported in an article posted on the KATC website.

The bottom line is simply this, you wouldn't expose your personal information to a total stranger. Most of the people most of us count as "friends" on social media are not really close friends, in fact, they would be considered strangers if we were interacting with them in public. That's why it's always better to use extra caution on any contacts you have with people on social media you don't actually know in person.