Digitalization continues to impact every facet of our lives. But our increasing involvement in the digital world exposes us to malicious activities that exploit our weaknesses and pain points. Social media has become one of the most popular mediums for cybercriminals to identify loopholes and wreak havoc on your data and information. Yet, widespread awareness has helped thousands prevent potential attacks. However, scammers employ new daily tactics to practice fraudulent activities, and social media is an easy target. So, let’s learn how to protect yourself from social media scams.
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7 Common Social Media Scams
Here is a list of common social media scams:
1. Fake Customer Service
Fake customer service accounts made by online criminals can access your personal information and sensitive data. These accounts are designed to seem legitimate but usually feature one or two extra characters in the names that customers easily miss.
2. Fake News
People use social media for entertainment and socializing. So, it is common for them to follow different pages that give them a peek into the life of celebrities or the latest industry news. Scammers use this as an opportunity to tempt users to click on attractive fake news. For example, an article titled “Kim Kardashian is Pregnant,” accompanied by a fake picture that verifies the claim, can lure in thousands of people. Such reports even get confirmed links and are thus a perfect way to attack your device with malware or phishing attempts.
3. Confirm Email
A common social media phishing attempt redirects you to the “confirm your email” page when browsing or opening a page/site. These phishing attempts trick users into updating their private information, all the while being tracked down by a hacker.
4. Fake Comments
Do you often see comments under popular posts or news with links? These links are often placed with buzzy headlines such as “XYZ Video leaked” that attract readers to click the link. These links lead to credit card scams and the exposure of the information available on your social media account.
5. Fake Contests and Surveys
Fake contests have been around since the advent of social media. Fake surveys and contests are designed to get personal information later sold and mined. Scammers embed fake surveys as legitimate social media posts with profile pictures.
6. Check Who Viewed Your Profile?
How tempting is it to identify your stalker? It is quite fascinating, we agree. Scammers give users a similar incentive, luring them to click on a link that leads them to an online survey with a scammer at the backend. These surveys collect information that is later sold for marketing purposes. No social media site keeps track of such information or reveals it to the general public.
7. Online Discounts
Social media is all about entertainment and information. Social media informs you of everything from getting regular updates about your favorite brand’s latest collection to their upcoming sales. Fake online discounts have a similar mechanism. Scammers create social media accounts that offer exciting discount offers on real products. These legit promotions lead you to an information channel where they collect your personal information and sell it to a website for marketing purposes.