Have you ever been challenged with a weird sort of scam on social media platforms? Social Media Scams are becoming popular nowadays. If you have not fallen into the trap of these scams, then you’re most probably lucky to get off with just some lost time or minor financial damage. This article is prepared to help you avoid falling victim to these scams.
1. Catfishing/ Social Media Impersonation
The most common social media scam, known as catfishing, has no boundaries with regard to the vast internet world. In this scam, the person committing the fraudulent activity creates a fake fictional identity, notably in the form of a social media profile.
The purpose varies from financial gains, fake business setup, collect sensitive information to identity theft, or impersonation, which can later result in the attempt of other atrocious crimes such as bank fraud, etc. To avoid being a victim of such false plays and stop social media impersonation keep in mind the following:
- Never share personal bank details, passwords, OTPs, addresses etc.
- Avoid surfing through unverified social media sources.
- Verify social media accounts by confirming or connecting to the same person through call or meet.
2. Banking Affiliated Scams
These kinds of fraudulent activities take place when the scammer hints to be banker or relationship manager affiliated with a baking or financial institution. In such scenarios, the scammers are targeting you and gaming your trust in the financial organisation by offering lucrative financial schemes, credit cards, loans etc to lure you with better interest rates.
The following scam compromises your data by phishing your personal information to the scammer such as bank details, passwords etc, which can result in direct withdrawal of money from your account. To avoid such scam be mindful in the following ways-
- Never share your personal bank details online to any website or link shared.
- Always transact/ communicate with your bank directly.
- Do not accept calls or entertain messages from unverified bankers.
3. Lottery/ Prize Scams
The so-called “YOU WON” scams are the most common social media scam. In such fraudulent activities, victims are told or offered links to share with other users to win prize money or lottery. The whole process is completed once the victim receives the prize-winning message or is informed to share certain fee through wireless transaction to avail the prize money.
In such scenarios, the victim ends up compromising the personal information and banking details with the fraudster, which can later result in further advancement in criminal activity. To avoid make sure to take necessary precautions such as-
- Never share the links or claim the access to prize money
- Research through official websites to connect with lottery agencies for verification.
- Never share your personal details with the sources communicating with you regarding lottery or prize-winning competitions.
It breaches your digital privacy and hack into your device to access or download a copy of all the information from your system, compromising the personal data and sensitive information stored in the device. The following scam is committed with the purpose of theft of information, misuse etc ranging from bank details to sharing personal sensitive files.
Hackers try to break into your system by implanting viruses attack on your telephone or Wi-Fi networks which allows them access to your device. It is considered one of the most dangerous social media scams, which breaches your privacy and allows access to all kinds of information in the device. It might further, enable you lose access to the files or its restoration. To avoid hacking, make sure your device has-
- Anti-virus programs/ Free Anti-virus programs
- End-to-end encrypted programs
- Avoid downloading data from unethical resources
- Avoid clicking deep/surface links
To conclude, scamming activities are advancing with time, and new legal developments are constantly being brough in. Meanwhile, understanding the subject can protect you from being a victim of cybercrime. Always be cautious about sharing your information online and be aware of unsolicited messages promising unbelievable opportunities. In case you feel you have been a victim of any social media fraudulent activity make sure you inform the relevant authorities in your area as soon as possible. Stay informed and conscious about what you share on the internet since online privacy is slowly turning into a myth.