Social Media Scams and how to avoid them

Social media is one of the most used communication tools, you can communicate with your acquaintances, you can find out news and connect with your favorite brands.

Not everything is perfect, because it's also the easiest way for scammers to look for new victims. The next victim could be you, a family member, or a friend, but how do you know if it's fraud and how can you avoid it?

Now there are thousands of ways in which these people can extort money from you and as you are reading this many more are being invented. Most of these people try to steal money from you through direct messages on social media. If they send you a link and you click on it, they can instantly steal your information by infecting your computer or sometimes ask you to enter the information yourself. Data from the Federal Trade Commission estimates that many users have lost more than $2.7 billion to these scams since 2021 and this number is only increasing.

Don’t be next! Here are some methods they use now:

Enemies pretending to be your friends.

They impersonate someone you know asking for money because they need it for some situation that arose, as well as pretending to be META or the social media platform by sending you a message that your account is going to be closed if you do not click on the link they send you in the next 24 hours.

Extra money, but at what cost?

These people take advantage of vulnerable people, for example, Karla is looking for a second chance to make some extra money. She receives a message on Facebook from a stranger offering her an opportunity to earn extra money by buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Usually, they will try to create a relationship, to take advantage and get you to send them money to invest.

Online Dating

There have been many cases of people meeting the “love of their life” through social media. They think an attractive person is interested in them and it ends up turning into a nightmare. First, they send you a request, then they talk to you and the rest is history. When they already have you in their hands because of the relationship they forged with you through messages, they ask you for money to supposedly travel to see you or something similar.

There are many other techniques that scammers use, and new ones will continue to emerge, but here are some tips so you don’t fall into their trap:

  • Never click on a suspicious links, first investigate who the person is and if it is too good to be true it is very likely that it is a scam.
  • Never share your personal or financial information through social media, always make sure the information is legitimate, and be always skeptical.
  • Accept only people you know and if someone you know asks you for money out of the blue, contact that person by phone to make sure it’s real.
  • Your security is important, so your account needs to be as private as possible, so you don’t be a prey to scammers.
  • Change your password to a long one, don’t use sensitive information in it and try to make them all different for each social media.
  • Use a two-factor authentication, preferably an app designed for this.
  • Avoid using the internet in public places because it´s an easy network to hack.
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