Social Media Scams & How to Stay Safe?

What is a Social Media scam?

A social media scam is where attackers use social media platforms to trick people in to either sending money, personal information, or passwords.

What kind of scams are there?

Clickbait scams:

A clickbait scam is where a post in your social media feed, or pop-up will entice you into clicking on to the ad. This can hijack your browser and redirect to another site that may load malware on to your PC.

Impersonation Scam:

An impersonation scam is where you may receive a private message from someone you may know, who’s account may be compromised asking for money or other information.

Quizzes or Polls:

These are the ads that appear in a pop-up or in your feed asking you to take an innocently disguised quiz to gauge certain personality traits, trivia, or all sorts of different things. These may ask for personal information, bank accounts, or SSN numbers.

Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams:

These are scams that announce you have won a lottery or sweepstakes and often ask for bank account information.

What can I do to stay safe?

  1. Don’t take the “bait.” Never click on pop-up messages, posts that contain content that seems shocking, scandalous, or too good to be true, or links or attachments in unsolicited emails and text messages.
  2. Create a strong password. This means that it is a minimum of seven characters and contains a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers. You should never provide your password to someone you do not know.
  3. Don’t provide your information (personal or financial) online unless you know the website you are using is legitimate, secure, and encrypted. It is also important to make sure that you are dealing with the right entity and using its real website and not a look-alike site created by a scam artist. Also, look for “https://” (the “s” stands for secure) before a web address.
  4. Delete unsolicited emails and text messages that request personal or account information. Companies you do business with already have this information and do not need to verify or confirm it. If there is a security breach, most companies contact their customers in writing to alert them of the breach.
  5. Contact companies only through trusted channels. If you are concerned about an email or other message you received, call the company immediately at its publicly listed phone number. Never trust the phone number or email address given in the message.
  6. Verify the person you are dealing with is who they claim to be, and not an imposter. Contact a friend or family member who could confirm the person’s story or try contacting the real person at a phone number you know is correct.
  7. Don’t be rushed into sending money immediately or secretly. Don’t send money by wire transfer, overnight delivery, or reloadable cards unless you are certain that you are sending money to a real friend or family member.

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