Over the last few years, social media scams have exploded, with fake Twitter and Facebook profiles increasing by 100% in just one year. There are several types of social media scams, most which involve a phishing scheme component.
Here’s how it happens: Scammers try to “friend” you by creating a bogus profile or cloning the profile of someone you know. Then, they’ll get you to share personal information by asking you random questions. Meanwhile, you’re unknowingly giving away the security questions for your personal passwords. By the time you realize what’s happened, it’s too late. Other social media scams involve fake offers and promotions. To get your hands on the goods, though, you’ll first need to share your personal information.
In yet another scam, fraudsters reach out to you while impersonating your financial institution. They’ll claim to have incredible rates on loans. And, if you apply for this “loan,” the scammers might empty your accounts or trick you into making upfront payments to qualify.
Keep yourself safe from social media scams with these helpful tips:
How to spot a scam
The posted offer sounds too good to be true.
You’re asked to make an upfront payment for a loan application.
You’re urged to act immediately or risk missing the offer.
The scammer claims to represent your credit union,but when you call to discuss the offer, no one knows what you’re talking about.
You’re asked to share sensitive information in the initial stages of the application.
A social media “friend” keeps asking you random questions.
Preventing social media scams
Preventing social media scams isn’t difficult. All it takes is some common sense and practical steps.
Think before you click. Ignore anything suspicious or intrusive.
If a lender has contacted you, check their legitimacy with the Better Business Bureau.