Proof of social media’s explosive popularity is in the numbers. In 2022, 80% of the US population had a social networking profile.
With the growth of social media, online scams have evolved. According to the FTC, reports of people losing money to scams that started on social media more than tripled in 2022.
To help stay safe online, learn to recognize these common social media scams.
Scammers create fake social media posts and profiles to convince you to share your personal or financial information. The profile may use a real company’s name or logo, and often links to a fake website where you’re asked to enter your checking account or credit card number, SSN, or other sensitive information.
Common ploys include:
If you provide your information to the scammer, it can be used to access your bank account, make fraudulent purchases, or steal your identity.
Other social media phishing tactics are quizzes that lure victims with clever questions such as “Which celebrity do you look like?” When you launch a quiz app, you may be unknowingly giving a third party access to your profile data that could be used to hijack your social media account or install malware.
Instead of creating a fake profile, scammers may take over an existing one. This can happen when a scammer steals a username and password through a data breach, phishing, or malware. Scammers use the hacked profile to contact the person’s friends and family and ask for money or to promote a link to a fraudulent site they own.
Scammers create fake social media profiles and use the promise of love to trick naive victims into sending them money. They may use a fictional name or falsely assume the identities of aid workers, military personnel, or professionals working abroad.
Once they gain your trust, they may claim to need funds for an emergency or other hardship and convince you to share your account information or send money before disappearing.
Some telltale signs of this scam include poor or vague communication, flowery language, a small number of Facebook or Instagram pictures and posts, or a Twitter account with just a few tweets.
In card cracking schemes, scammers use social media to post opportunities to make “easy money” in a way they say is “legit.” They typically request your debit card and PIN and/or mobile banking username and password to deposit a fake check into your account. They may ask you to report your card lost or stolen or that your username and password have been compromised in order to seek reimbursement from your bank. In exchange, scammers promise you a portion of the money you deposit.
After gaining access to your account, scammers can transfer money or deposit phony checks and quickly make withdrawals before your bank identifies the bad checks. Not only are you robbed of your money, but you may also face hefty fines and criminal charges because your participation in this scheme makes you a co-conspirator.
In job scams, victims are promised a high-paying job in return for a small “advance fee” to secure a position that doesn’t actually exist. The phony employer may also send a new employee a fake check before their start date and require them to send some of the money back to pay for training or supplies. If the employee deposits the fake check, they will be responsible for the check amount and any money sent to the scammer.
Article Source: wellsfargo.com
Before you start risking your money, check the credibility of the desired website. Search for its URL in the our long list of Scam sites, or send us a request to check its validity, and do not register, buy or invest in it until you are sure of the validity and legality of that website or platform.