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Top Useful Pieces Of Advice To Avoid Social Media Scams

Social media has revolutionized the way humans interact. We can now share personal information via different social networks, making our lives public. More than 3.5 billion people use various social media platforms to interact with their peers and conduct different forms of business.

While these platforms have become an integral part of our lives, they can pose threats like data theft if not used properly. Scammers are on the prowl and ready to pounce on unsuspecting users. However, there are different measures you can take to protect your account. Check out these top 10 useful pieces of advice to avoid social media scams.

Top Useful Pieces Of Advice To Avoid Social Media Scams

Prove Credibility of the Forum

Some forums are exclusively meant for paid members, and they are used for sharing highly personal files. Often celebrities who want to build stronger connections with their fans in most cases. Before you open an account, you must make sure of the credibility of the platform to avoid scams. Check the number of registered members and media files posted to see if it is a credible site. Additionally, you also need to be satisfied with the subscription fee charged before you part with your money.

Don’t Share Personal Information

Many scammers and hackers target personal information belonging to different social media users. There are several social media platforms that are designed to suit the needs of all users. If you want to join a channel for news, make sure you provide minimal information. Many people you are likely to interact with on Reddit come from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, you can't always trust them with your sensitive information. When many people know you, you will become vulnerable and they can manipulate you.

To avoid a situation where you are attacked by unknown people or to reduce the chances of data theft, you should not provide information that will reveal your identity. Make sure you offer details you are comfortable revealing to other users. It is a good idea not to provide sensitive data on any social media platform since most of the details required are optional. Don’t provide anything related to your family, your interests, and your location.

Secure Your Accounts With Strong Passwords

When you create a social media account, you need to protect it with a strong password like any other online account. A weak password can expose your account and it can be accessed by unauthorized people which can lead to issues like data theft. Therefore, create a long password consisting of letters and figures. Additionally, you can also use a two-factor authentication mechanism to protect your social media account. You will need to connect your account with your mobile phone for verification when you log in. This is the easiest way to prevent hackers from accessing your account.

Social Phishing

Many fraudsters use social phishing to lure unsuspecting users of open platforms like Twitter or Facebook. A scammer can send the victim a direct message or advertise a special offer or gift. Some offers are irresistible and many people will fall for the bait which can lead to financial losses or data theft. The scammers will provide a link to follow and this will lead you to a site that will request personal information. In some cases, your computer can get infected with malware when you click the link.

To avoid this scam, you should never click a link you don't trust. If you are promised an offer that is too good to believe, you should be suspicious since you cannot get anything for free from a stranger. Ignore all messages promising you great things from people you don't. If possible, you can block them and never respond to their request. Thus, if someone asks you to provide personal details, don't send anything. You must remain doubtful and don’t trust everything you encounter on different social media platforms.

Romance Scams

Romance scams are popular on social media, and they revolve around building a romantic relationship online. The scammers mainly target the younger and inexperienced adults and the elderly. They will also keep the relationship open as long as it remains gainful. Once the relationship has been established, the scammer will lie about an emergency and ask the victim to send some money. They may request just a small amount of money to prevent suspicion by the other party.

Once you show that you are willing to assist, they will keep coming up with new stories. Remember, they may be doing it to several people, and you may realize this later. However, there is nothing you can do to recover your money. To avoid this simple scam, you should never send money to a stranger. If you have never met the person, then why should you trust them to the extent of sending money? Additionally, do not send your banking details to a person you don’t know.

Clickbait

Attackers can create enticing clickbait campaigns on different social media platforms to attract unsuspecting users. For instance, they can use irresistible videos, juicy headlines, or trending news to get people to click the malicious link provided. Once you click on the link, you sign in and provide your details. The attackers will immediately get access to your profile information and passwords.

You need to stay vigilant when using different social media platforms to avoid data breach threats that can lead to financial loss. If you operate in a corporate environment, you can deploy phishing simulators to raise cyber security awareness. Training employees about phishing attacks can also go a long way in helping protect your company from losing critical information to unauthorized persons. You may also need to identify the employees who may be at great risk of attacks.

Charitable Scam

Charitable scammers usually leverage emergencies or any other trending news to request donations from different social media users. They can create authentic crowdfunding sites. Thus, they raise the funds on the pretext that they are meant for a noble cause. However, the funds may never reach the intended beneficiaries. Instead, the scammers will quickly vanish from social media once they raise sufficient money. You need to do some research to avoid charity scams. Achieve this by using a reliable charity research tool to verify the authenticity of the organization requesting donations. You should also try to visit its website to check if it exists.

Employment Offer Scam

Scammers often use social media platforms to create non-existent job opportunities and advertise them to different social media users. These people will also target other things like personal data, social security numbers, and addresses. The scammers may promise prospective job seekers a sign-on bonus. This often includes a processing fee. Other scammers can ask you to buy equipment to use from certain stores with a promise of reimbursement. If someone requests a processing fee or that you buy something in advance, you are dealing with a scammer.

social media

There is no serious employer who will ask a job applicant to pay a processing fee for their application. You don’t need to pay anything to be hired by a company that promises to offer you employment. A legitimate company will also not ask you to provide personal information before they interview you. You must evaluate the legitimacy of the company to avoid social media scams where you can lose money to bogus employment agencies.

Money Mule Scams

Money mule scammers use the "get-rich-quick-scheme". Here, they ask you to provide your banking details, so they deposit a check. In most cases, the fraudsters would be attempting to get you involved to help them cash out stolen money. The offer may be too good to ignore, and you will agree to provide your banking details. Thus, the check is deposited into your account. The scammer will ask you to transfer a portion of their share via wire transfer and ask you to keep the rest. However, the challenge with this kind of social media scam is that the funds appear to be available. They seem to only be waiting to clear in your account.

In most cases, the victim will realize later that the check is fake and the scammer is nowhere to be seen. They can also use your banking details to wipe your account of all the money. Your information can also be used for other illegal activities. Therefore, the best way to avoid such a scenario is to understand that there is nothing called “easy money” in this world. If you want money, find legit means to generate revenue. Never accept to deposit a check into your account on behalf of someone. You must always be vigilant.

Social media is an indispensable component in our lives since we use it for various purposes. However, the problem with this channel of communication is that it is susceptible to online threats like hacking. To avoid social media scams, it is vital to consider some of the tips above.

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