Social media is a great way to connect with friends, family and to share content. It’s also a great way to fall victim to a scam. Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to trick you into parting with your hard-earned money. You need to be aware of the latest scams so that you don’t become yet another victim of social media fraudsters.
Giveaway or contest scams
- Giveaway or contest scams are very common on social media, especially on Instagram and Facebook. They can involve a post or status update from an account with a small number of followers asking users to like, share or comment to enter a contest for a prize. The scammer will often ask for payment to be made using money transfers (such as Western Union) or gift cards so that they can claim the prize themselves.
- Be aware of giveaways that ask you to pay money in order to enter the contest! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
If you’re on social media, it’s likely that you’ve seen an ad promising a large sum of money in exchange for your personal information. The lottery scam is a common example of this type of fraud. In these cases, victims may receive an email or message on social media informing them they’ve won the lottery and asking them to provide their name, address, phone number and other personal details to claim their prize. The scammer promises big winnings but asks the victim to pay a fee before claiming their prize—usually through wire transfer or gift cards purchased with stolen credit card information. The victim never sees their promised payout because the lottery is fake and everything about it—including the winning notification—is fabricated by criminals looking for easy targets to exploit.
Bank loan or credit card scam
If you’ve ever been tempted to apply for a loan, you might want to think twice.
A scammer may be trying to steal your identity or get access to sensitive financial information through a fake bank loan or credit card scam. A scammer might send out emails that look like they’re from a legitimate bank asking for personal information like social security numbers, driver’s license numbers and account numbers. They use this information—which they get by hacking into the actual bank’s website—to steal money from people’s accounts. Be careful if you’re asked for any of these things via email; it could be part of an elaborate scheme with bad intentions behind it!
Card popping is a scam that doesn’t always involve social media. Fraudsters provide a fake website that looks like the real thing—for example, it might claim to be a bank or an airline. Victims are tricked into entering their card details, and then they’re told that they’ve won a prize! To get their prize (which may be an iPad), victims are told to give their card details over the phone.
This type of scam works because it plays on people’s hopes and fantasies: who doesn’t want an iPad? But if you don’t win anything at all, then you’re out of pocket too—and worse still, if your credit card information has been compromised by this scammer.
Credit repair scams
People with bad credit are often inundated with opportunities to pay for services that promise to clean up their records, but these offers are really just attempts at fraud.
It’s against the law for a company to charge you money in exchange for helping you repair your credit. These scams also usually involve taking advantage of people who are already vulnerable due to their financial situations, so it’s especially important not to fall prey to them. Instead, if you want or need help repairing your credit, take some time and learn how it works yourself! You can get a free copy of each of the three major consumer credit reports once per year through AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228; this website also provides instructions on how best to dispute any errors that appear on these reports (and there are many).
Third-party apps are made by third parties and not explicitly vetted by the platform for security or privacy issues. These apps may have been created to help you manage your social media accounts, but it’s important to remember that they can also be used to exploit you through malware and viruses. Third-party apps have the ability to access all of your data, including sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers.
You should never use third-party apps with social media profiles; doing so could put your account at risk of being hacked into by outside parties who want access to this kind of information. By using these types of applications, you’re opening up the possibility that someone else will get into your account without having the proper permissions—which means they could start posting on behalf of other people on their behalf (which would make them appear untrustworthy) or even steal their identity altogether!
Greeting card scams
Greeting card scams are some of the most common, and can easily be mistaken as legitimate. They usually involve an email that says your friend has sent you a gift card or greeting card and asks you to click on a link to claim them. Sometimes they will even ask for personal information including your credit card number in order to verify that it’s really you who has received this “gift”!
If you receive an email like this, do not click on any links in the message or reply back with any details. Instead, forward it and report it to CyberCrime Police. If someone tries to contact you through Facebook Messenger about a fake gift card or greeting card scam, please block them immediately so they can’t message anyone else about their scam!
Make money fast scams
Make money fast scams are illegal, and they’re a waste of time. They’re too good to be true, and they will cost you money. They won’t make you rich—if anything, they might get you in trouble with the law if you try to take advantage of them. You may have heard of these scams in the form of emails promising riches if only you send them money first or post links on your social media accounts to earn some quick cash. These schemes have been around for years and are commonly known as pyramid schemes (they promise big rewards for little work). They’re one example of a common scam: the Nigerian prince email scam that offers victims large sums of money if they will just send over their bank account details so that wired funds can be deposited into it before being withdrawn by an agent acting on behalf of said royal family member from Nigeria who has just come into possession with millions worth hundreds/thousands/more thousands/etc., but needs help getting access to his fortune due to government corruption at home where he lives…
Phishing attempts with fake links
You might be familiar with phishing scams. These are emails or messages that appear to come from a trusted company, like Facebook or Google. The messages ask you to click through to what looks like a legitimate website (like Gmail), so that they can verify your identity—but it’s really an attempt to access information about you and/or steal passwords. In this article, we’ll focus on social media phishing and how scammers try similar tactics there as well.
Social media can be particularly vulnerable to phishing attempts because there are many ways for scammers to impersonate real people or companies on the platform:
- Fake links posted on social media – Scammers post fake links intended for their followers to click through and “win” something (like concert tickets) or download free software that actually contains malware that steals personal information once installed onto your computer or device. These links may look very similar in color scheme, design elements like text fonts used, etc., which makes them hard for users who aren’t paying attention carefully enough (especially if they’ve already clicked many times before). If you think something doesn’t look right about a link someone has shared online – perhaps especially if they’re trying too hard – then don’t click it!
- Links sent via direct message – The most common form of social media phishing is when scammers send fake messages directly through those individual accounts’ inboxes instead of posting publicly-visible updates
Profile hijacking is a scam in which a hacker pretends to be the owner of an account and sends messages to their contacts, asking them for money. For example:
- An email from your friend saying they’ve been robbed and need your help.
- A message from your friend’s Facebook page saying that they need money because they’ve been arrested or stuck somewhere overseas.
In either case, the hacker has obtained access to your friend’s social media accounts and is posing as them—they may even have taken over other aspects of their lives, such as their bank account or credit card information. Profile hijacking scams are often difficult for victims to detect because the messages seem very similar in tone (and style) to ones sent by friends on social media platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. You should always look out for red flags indicating that something isn’t right: if something seems too good to be true then it probably isn’t true!
The most common way to hide a URL is by putting it in an image. A malicious actor can take an image file, insert the full URL of their site, and then post that image on social media. If you click on that image, your browser will load the website in question directly. This means you’re less likely to notice where you’re going or who’s hosting the content as well as what kind of data they might collect while you’re there.
Some social media scams use text instead of images for their hidden URLs—for example, by posting text within a comment or reply thread (like “check out my site”). While this doesn’t look obviously suspicious at first glance, when combined with other actions (such as using shortened URLs), it can make your account vulnerable to attacks like spamming and phishing attempts.
Instead of visiting full URLs or clicking on links posted by people on social networks like Facebook or Twitter where they may be hiding them behind photos or comments (“look at this picture I took!”), use a URL shortener instead if possible and always double-check any references provided before following through with them! These types of automated tools are not always safe but can sometimes be safer than clicking directly onto an unknown link because they generally check if it’s valid before sending users over there – otherwise known as “validating.”
Fake antivirus software
One of the more common scams that you’ll encounter on social media is fake antivirus software. Fake antivirus programs are designed to trick you into installing them, so that they can then charge you for bogus services and features.
Fake antivirus programs often masquerade as legitimate antivirus programs, which is why it’s important to be careful about what kinds of applications you download from websites or share on social networks. Some examples of fake antiviruses include:
- 360 Safe Antivirus (also known as 360 Total Security)
- AV Security Toolkit
Travel scams are one of the most common and profitable forms of cybercrime, so it’s important to be aware of red flags before you book your next trip.
- Travel scams can be on social media. Be wary if you see a friend post about an amazing deal that seems too good to be true. Scammers may use fake accounts or stolen photos to trick you into thinking they’re fellow travelers—but remember, if something looks fishy, it probably is!
- Travel scams can also appear on travel websites. If you’re using an online booking service like TripAdvisor or Expedia, beware of hidden fees and hidden costs that aren’t mentioned in the original listing (like “service charges”). If something feels off when looking at reviews for hotels or airlines, try searching for those companies independently. This will help ensure there aren’t any reviews being manipulated by scammers trying to sell their own business rather than provide information honestly as a consumer would expect them too as well as making sure that everyone else has good experiences with these companies overall before signing up–not just one bad apple who was either ignored by management before leaving negative comments everywhere else because they were mad about how long their flight took getting back home last weekend after visiting family overseas during Thanksgiving break; then again this could happen anywhere though not necessarily within the same state where we live now which makes sense since they don’t want people knowing where we live anyway even though this was meant more like general advice than anything specific towards anyone specifically–you get what I’m saying though?
Catfishing is a common scam that occurs on social media. It involves someone pretending to be someone they are not in order to manipulate you into giving them money or personal information. Catfishing usually takes place on dating sites and can take the form of either a male or female scammer, as it sometimes happens with gay men as well as straight women and men.
The scammer will use photos of someone else (usually one who looks very similar), often a celebrity, in their profile picture in order to make themselves appear more attractive than they really are. They might also contact you through other means such as email or instant messenger instead of Facebook messaging so that no one else sees how long your conversation has been going on for or what kind of messages were exchanged between the two parties involved before coming into contact with each other directly via social media platform(s).
If this person seems interested in getting closer and closer over time but refuses any requests from you for further proof about where they live/work etc., then there’s probably nothing wrong going on here—but if your gut tells something seems off then listen! These scammers will often ask for money upfront before meeting up with them face-to-face – whether that means buying plane tickets so they can come visit us wherever we live outside their home country where internet access may cost more than most people earn per hour working full time under normal circumstances (like America), helping pay rent while waiting tables at night during daylight hours when most people work their regular 9-5 jobs without breaks between shifts due adding income
The most common affiliate scam is the “fake coupon” scam. In this tactic, scammers will post links to websites that claim to be offering coupons or discounts, but are actually just trying to trick you into installing malware on your computer. The scammers are able to earn money for each person who clicks on their link and installs the malware, which allows them to profit even if only one person falls for their trap.
Fake news scam
Fake news is a problem on social media, and it can be hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction. Fake news stories (or “clickbait”) often contain sensational claims or information that appears too good to be true. This type of fake news may sound familiar:
- I got an email from [national newspaper] that said [celebrity] was pregnant!
- Did you see the article about NASA finding aliens? It says they’re hiding in Antarctica!
- My friend’s cousin saw [celebrity name] driving home from their house! There’s no way they live there!
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that has a lot of buzz around it. It’s not backed by any financial institution, so you can’t just call up your bank and ask them to reverse the transaction if you get scammed. Many people use it as an easy payment method for scams like ransomware, and once they’ve received their payment there’s no recourse for the victim. For example, say someone sends you $100 worth of Bitcoin in an email that looks legitimate but really isn’t—you’d have no way to get your money back! Plus, once a Bitcoin transaction has been processed it’s irreversible: the person who got paid can spend those funds anywhere without worrying about being caught (unless they’re careless with their spending).
The best way to protect yourself from social media scams is to be vigilant and aware of what you are clicking on. Be wary of any requests for personal information, don’t click on any suspicious links, provide limited information and don’t accept friend requests from strangers. Use strong and unique passwords, do your research – Check the person is genuine, use strong privacy settings, enable Two-Factor Authentication and install well known anti-virus software. Keep operating systems up to date as well as all applications that run on them so they are always running efficiently.