Recently, the rate of social media scams has exploded. The social media scams, which started as fake Facebook and Twitter profiles increased by 100 percent in just one year. The recent development of Carousel ads and Collection ads on Facebook caused the proliferation of fake marketing pages, offers, and ads.
These types of ads feature impressive and high-tech gadgets, such as smart devices and computer, at very low prices to attract unsuspecting individuals.
Any user who falls victim to this con will lose his or her hard earn money but get a very cheap earpiece instead.
Another common social media scam involves a phishing scheme component. Here’s what happens: a scammer sets up a false flashy profile or clones the profile of someone you know very well.
With the fake account, the scammer tries to become a “friend.” After some time, then scammer would trick you to share your personal information by asking you some random questions.
Meanwhile, you will unsuspectingly give away the answers to your security questions. This would be used by the scammer to reset your password and before you realize what has happened, you are already kicked out of your account.
Another social media scam involves using fake promotions and offer to get sensitive information from users. Useful and affordable goods would be offered and promoted through fake ad pages.
In your bid to get your hands on these goods, you would be required to share your personal information, which you are likely to give innocently.
Other social media scams involve Bitcoin and ICO scam.
To avoid being a victim of social media scams, here is how to spot, react to, and prevent social media scams.
To spot social media scams, watch out for these red flags:
- The ad, offer, or promotion sounds too good to be true (very cheap).
- A social media “friend” keep asking you random sensitive questions or demanding personal information.
- You are asked to act immediately else you would miss the offer.
- You are asked to share sensitive info in the initial stage of an application.
- The offer, ad, or promotion claims to be from a legitimate company, but when you call the real company to discuss the offer or promotion, no one knows what you’re talking about.
- The “person” propagating the offer requested for your number or email or refers you to another user.
To prevent these social media scams:
- Think carefully before you click on any offer or ad.
- Ignore anything intrusive or suspicious.
- Never post anything that can be used to steal your sensitive information.
- Always check your social media privacy settings.
- Don’t sign in to your social media account on a device you don’t trust. If you do, sign out and clear cookies after use.
- Never make an upfront payment for a product you are not sure of its legitimacy.
- Avoid ad, offer, or promotion that sounds too good to be true.
- Never share sensitive and personal information on social media either with users you know or users you don’t know.
- Verify that any company that contacts you is legitimate.
If you’ve ever been a victim of social media scams, you can prevent further attack by doing the following:
- Change your passwords and setting up 2-factor authentication if possible.
- Don’t give out sensitive and personal information.
- Alert the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Don’t log in to your social media account on every available device.
Generally, there is actually little you can do losing sensitive data on the Internet. However, you can protect yourself from falling prey by doing the following:
- Update your password regularly using strong, unique, and alphanumeric codes for each social media site.
- Choose 2-factor authentication when possible.
- Do not open emails from suspicious sources.
- Never install an application from illegitimate sources.
- Never open files from illegitimate sources.
- Don’t reveal your password or answers to security questions to anyone.
- If you are targeted, alert the FTC.