Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it can also be a playground for scammers. This blog post will discuss the different types of social media scams and how to avoid them. We will focus on scams that use fake Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts, as these are some of the most common scams currently being used. Stay safe online by following our tips.
WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger scams
When you create a WhatsApp account, you need to verify it with a six-digit code sent to you via text. However, cybercriminals have found a way to bypass this system by breaking into the voicemail box of the person they want to steal the account from and obtaining the verification code.
Scammers may re-fraud people since they have names, pictures, and other information. They pick the option that says they never received the code and need a phone verification to send it by text on WhatsApp. Because he knows that as soon as WhatsApp calls the victim’s phone, he will get a response immediately, the fraudster makes his call right away. The hacker leaves a voicemail in the victim’s inbox and obtains the WhatsApp verification code, allowing them to take control of the account. This usually happens because victims don’t change their default pins that protect their inboxes (typically something like 0000 or 1111).
When scammers create fake social media accounts, they often use them to send phishing messages. Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them personal information like your password or credit card number. They do this by sending you a message that looks like it’s from a company or person you trust but is actually from the scammer. The message might say there’s a problem with your account, and you need to click on a link to fix it. Or it could be an offer that seems too good to be true, like free concert tickets. If you click on the link, you’ll be taken to a fake website that looks real but is designed to steal your information.
Another type of WhatsApp scam is hijacking. This happens when a hacker takes over your account and starts sending messages to your contacts pretending to be you. They might even change your profile picture to make it look like you. Hackers can do this by stealing your phone or getting access to your WhatsApp backups if you’re not storing them securely. To protect yourself from hijacking, use a strong password for WhatsApp and enable two-factor authentication. This means that even if someone knows your password, they won’t be able to access your account unless they also have something else like a code sent to your phone.
Scammers will also use fake social media accounts to spread malware. Malware is a type of software that can harm your computer or phone. It can delete your files, steal your passwords, or give scammers access to your device. Scammers usually send you a message with a link to download the malware. They might say it’s a picture or video, but the malware will start downloading onto your device when you click on it.
Catfishing from fake profiles
Catfishing is the practice of establishing a false online presence to deceive others into believing they are someone else. They may use a fake name, photo, and information. This is done to gain your attention or defraud you of money. Cybercriminals will set up fraudulent social media profiles and friends and follow you on social media. When they have your attention, they’ll start sending you messages. They might claim to be in trouble and request money or send you a link to a malware-infected website. You will be scammed if you pay them any money or click on the link provided.
In a money-flipping scam, someone will promise to double your money if you give them a sum of cash. They may say they can do this because they have access to an investment opportunity or know of a way to cheat the system. The truth is, there is no such thing as easy money. If someone offers to double your money in a short period, it’s likely a scam.
Ghost followers and bots that monitor your account
Some social media users will buy fake followers or likes to appear more popular than they are. These usually ghost accounts or bots that don’t interact with you. They make you look good and can be bought for a relatively low price. However, these fake followers can also be used to monitor your account and steal your information. Be suspicious if you see a sudden increase in followers or likes on your account. Check to see if these new followers have profile pictures and seem real. If not, they could be part of a scam.
Avoid being scammed on social media
Spot fake profiles
- Check the date of the profile and when the pictures were posted. If it was created recently, it might be fake.
- Look for lack of personal information. Real people will likely have at least a few photos and basic information about themselves.
- See if the profile has very few friends or no posts. This could mean the profile is new or fake.
- Look out for typos and bad grammar. This is often a sign that the profile is fake.
Spot suspicious links
- Don’t click on any links in messages from people you don’t know, even if they look like they’re from a company you trust.
- Hover over the link to see where it will take you before clicking on it. If the URL looks strange or doesn’t match the company’s name, don’t click on it.
- Malware can look like a picture, video, or file. If you’re not expecting it, don’t download it.
- Hover over links before clicking them to see where they will take you. If the URL looks strange or doesn’t match the link text, don’t click on it.
- Be suspicious of offers that are too good to be true. There is no such thing as easy money. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely trying to scam you.
- Be careful with whom you share your personal information and money.
If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to the social media site and the FTC. You can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
There are many types of social media scams, but you can avoid being scammed by being aware of them. Be suspicious of any offer that seems too good to be true, and never give out personal information or money to someone you don’t know and trust.