Social Media Scams and How to Avoid Them

by DCU |

Nearly everyone has a social media account of some kind. It’s important to be aware of potential scams that aim to collect your personal data through these sites or apps. Here are some common social media scams and how to identify them.


“Help! I’m traveling and I got robbed! Can you send me some money?”

A scammer will hack into someone’s social media account and send direct messages to the account owner’s friends explaining a scenario where they are stranded and need money sent to them quickly, assuring they will pay them back as soon as they can. This scam often works, as the message seems to be coming from someone you know, and may even mention personal information (the name of your spouse or significant other, names of your children, the town in which you live, etc.) that the scammer got through your social media profile. If you receive this type of message, always try to contact your friend by calling or texting their cell phone number directly.

 

Fake Celebrity News Articles – Click to Read More!

While you might be dying to hear the latest gossip about Beyoncé or Taylor Swift, unless the news article is being posted by a reputable source, resist the urge to click! Clicking on these links will take you to a page that looks like it has a juicy story about your favorite celebrity but will often prompt you to update Adobe Flash or JavaScript in order to continue reading the article. Agreeing to update your software usually results in a virus or malware being downloaded onto your system instead of getting the latest software update, you might end up compromising any information stored on your computer.

 

We’re cancelling your account. Unless you click here…

This scam involves receiving an email from what looks like a Social Media company (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) informing you that your account is being shut off. BUT – if you don’t want them to turn off your account, all you have to do is click on the link included in the email, provide your log-in information, and voila, you still have access to your account! The only problem here is that the email is not actually from a Social Media company, it’s from a scammer trying to get your username and password so they can hack into your account! Never click on the link provided in the email. If you are concerned that your account may actually be shut off, go to the social media site by typing the address into your browser and contact them directly.

 

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