FBI Pittsburgh wants you to think twice before posting your senior picture on social media

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh office of the FBI is issuing a warning: Don’t post your senior picture on social media.

In the past few weeks thousands of high school seniors across our area have celebrated graduation, a major milestone for Amy Terchick’s twin seniors at Pine-Richland. Their graduation ceremony was on Friday.

“It was beautiful and great for the kids and I know they took zillions of pictures,” Terchick said.

But before graduates post the big news online, they should take note of what the FBI in Pittsburgh shared on Twitter, warning graduates of a senior picture scam.

Scammers can use those posts to get answers to your password security questions such as your high school mascot, favorite teacher or childhood best friend.

“So the security question might be where did you go to school, where you went to elementary school, your school mascot, those are things a skilled attacker would be able to get very easily with some research as long as they know the school you graduated from,” said Steve Lampo, supervisory special agent of the Pittsburgh bureau of the FBI.

This can be a big problem because scammers can exploit the information to get into your social media, email or bank accounts.

“Once someone has this type of information and can answer your security questions they can then get into one of your accounts and they can reset the password for that account. At that point they have complete control of the account,” Lampo said.

The FBI suggests being smart about the information you share online and choosing difficult security questions.

This lesson is not just for high school seniors, as everyone should be extra cautious about what they share online and should make sure their accounts are extra secure.

Terchick is now making her kids aware of this scam.

“Its sad scammers are going to use this great experience to capitalize on kids and their security,” she said. “We talk to our kids a lot about what they put out there and being really secure with their passwords ... and I think it is a good lesson for kids that they will be aware of that and mindful of what they put out there in social media and can be used by people who have bad intentions.”