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“You can slice and dice their audience to an almost ridiculous degree,” Roberts says.

I’m not sure how they ‘found’ you, but my guess is they have a few standard profiles set up with different photos and orientations, and they just click and repeat.“They sent you guys both straight and gay friend requests, which suggests they’re not being super careful when targeting new people.

Since friending them will give them access to your friend network, they can then target your friends, and so on.

“Unless you’re scrupulous about setting up friend groups and sticking untrusted people in low-privilege ‘acquaintance ghettos’ where they have limited access to your profile,” says Roberts. Hardly anyone, which is why the scams exist in the first place. It could be a clickbait post that you can’t investigate.

Occasionally some scam will get enough reach that it actually becomes news.

Mostly, though, this stuff just persists in the background.” He says these profiles will eventually be flagged as “inappropriate” or “scam” profiles, which is done by clicking by the ellipses on the person’s cover photo, selecting “report” and following the on-screen instructions. “But by that time, the scammers have created 1,000 more identical profiles.

” I wondered aloud in the office last week.“Absolutely,” replied my fellow staff writer John Mc Dermott, laying out the logic: Brain: You’re getting catfished, idiot! “But usually the goal is to make connections and then send spam links or try to pull off scams,” e.g., romance scams, lottery scams, loan scams, access token scams, etc.

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“This is basically Facebook spam — send it, forget it, and wait for some sucker to friend you back because ‘So pretty!!!

’”That said, nefarious forces could do a lot with an accepted friend request.

The scam seems nebulous and minor-league — so much so that it’s tough to understand the endgame.

That said, they probably warrant caution, so I reach out to Paul Roberts, who covers hacking and cyber threats as editor-in-chief of the cyber-security website , to better understand what these alluring — yet clearly malevolent — Facebook friend requests are all about. Most people aren’t that beautiful, Roberts says, stating the obvious.