Use Caution When Connecting with a ‘Mutual Friend’ on Social Media


It’s a common occurrence on social media: You receive a request – from someone with whom you supposedly share mutual friends – to connect with you as a new friend. Think BEFORE accepting the invitation, as it may be a scam in disguise, warns Victory State Bank.

The financial institution, Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank, is underscoring a warning from that calls attention to scammers who seek to steal identities through the use of social media.

Known as “farcing,” these scams start when you receive a friend request from someone who supposedly shares mutual friends with you.

Once you accept the request the scammers search your online profile to collect personal data about you, such as your hometown, schools you attended, employers, siblings, and vacation spots.

They often go a step further by contacting you directly through the site’s direct messaging feature to ask more questions about you, based on the information you’ve already posted. After you have accepted their request, they continue their scheme by sending friend requests to your friends, and then their friends. suggests taking these steps to protect your social media identity:

1)       Use the privacy settings on social media websites to manage who can access your profile.

2)       If you get a friend request from someone you don’t know, don’t accept it. If you are interested in accepting it, ask the mutual friends that you supposedly have in common who the person is. If they can’t give you definite answers about the person, ignore the request.

3)       Be cautious if you receive direct messages from new friends that request details or your personal information.

4)       Notify the website if your profile has been hacked or images have been stolen.



About Victory State Bank


VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at


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