FTC slams social media sites as a ‘goldmine for scammers’

Investment and cryptocurrency scams

Fake cryptocurrency and investment opportunities are among the biggest scams happening on social media right now. 

It’s estimated that 37 percent of all social media scam losses in 2022 were due to investment scams with the majority being cryptocurrency scams.

The con starts when a scammer reaches out to you, typically via direct social media message. 

They’ll start off by trying to build a relationship but then quickly share information about a ‘great investment opportunity’ that helped them ‘make so much money so fast.’  

Romance scams

Romance scams are common on dating sites, but many scammers also turn to social media to find victims.

In these scams, fraudsters create fake profiles using stolen photos of attractive people to lure in unsuspecting social media users. 

Once they initiate a relationship, they’re very forward and ‘love bomb’ their victims, quickly telling them that they’re in love and want to meet up.

The catfisher will mention financial troubles and ask for help eventually. 

Romance scams comprise up to 24 percent of all social media scams.

Social media account takeover fraud

Account takeover fraud occurs when hackers gain access to someone’s social media profile. 

They may trick you into giving up access, use a phishing attack to steal your password, or simply buy your login information off the Dark Web.

Authentication code scams

Two-factor and multi-factor authentication (2FA and MFA) offer additional security for your online accounts by requiring confirmation of a special code along with your password. 

Codes are usually sent via text or email, making it hard for hackers to steal them.

Scammers on social media pretend to be friends or contacts who need ‘help’ getting their account back and will ask to send a code to your phone or email.

Social media ads promoting fake online stores

Scammers often use social media ads to promote fake products or stores on social media. 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) received thousands of complaints about misleading Facebook and Instagram ads.

These online shopping ads try to capture your attention by saying the proceeds are going to charity or listing items at outrageously low prices.

Impersonator accounts

Scammers create imposter social media accounts using someone else’s name, photos, and other identifying information.

Impersonator accounts may request money, send links for phishing scams, or post fake giveaways and prizes.

Scammers have also started impersonating celebrities. 

‘Is this you in this photo/video?’, other link scams 

This scam is another version of a hacked account scam. 

You might receive a message from a friend or stranger that says something like, ‘Is this you in this photo?!’ alongside a link.

The advice is, don’t click the link.

Social media quizzes

Scammers use quizzes on social media to steal your personal information and break into your accounts.

These quizzes start with innocent-sounding questions, such as ‘What car did you pass your driver’s test with?’ or ‘What is your mother’s maiden name?’ or ‘What street did you grow up on?’

But these are common security questions to access your bank account and other financial institutions.

Lottery, sweepstakes, and giveaway scams

In this type of scam, fraudsters DM you to say you’ve won a prize. But to receive it, you must first pay or provide financial information.

Job scams on social media

The number of job scams have rocketed in the last few years as more Americans work from home or exclusively online.

Fraudsters create fake social media accounts to promote amazing remote job opportunities, promising that you can make a lot of money. 

Scammers have two objectives when running a job scam:

1. Get money from you. A scammer will give you the job, but only if you ‘buy the equipment’ first.

2. Get information from you. Scammers will send you a job application in hopes that you’ll fill it out and give away private information, such as your Social Security number and home address.

Source: aura.com 

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