As we are scrolling on Facebook, we often look for funny memes, posts from family and friends, and entertaining posts to cure us of our boredom. There are also Facebook Live videos that our Facebook friends can do in order to stay updated with us in real-time via video. However, there are Facebook pages that use Facebook Live videos as a means to scam their followers, looking for any possible way they can to steal their victims’ hard-earned money. They will impersonate celebrities and pretend to be hosting a money giveaway in order to convince you to give them your personal and financial information. This is why it’s important to know how to avoid Facebook Live scams.
Types of Facebook Live Scams
Celebrity Deepfake Impersonations
Scammers will pretend to be a celebrity in order to get their hands on their victims’ money. In order to do this, they take a video of themselves and replace their face with a celebrity’s face using a free program. In real life, the scammer looks nothing like the celebrity. However, with deepfake technology, they can look like any celebrity they want to on a Facebook Live video.
This can trick victims into giving celebrities their personal and financial information in order to win money or an item from the supposed celebrity. However, the scammer uses this information to commit identity theft and to drain their bank accounts.
Stealing Celebrity’s Facebook Live Videos
Scammers take pre-existing live videos from other celebrities and pass them off as their own video. They add edits to the Facebook Live videos, such as the giveaway amount, to make it look like it is coming from the scammer’s fake Facebook page when it really isn’t. They can then use this video to advertise a fake giveaway, asking for their victims’ personal and financial information.
Since the victims think that it’s the actual celebrity asking for this information, they trust them enough to hand over their personal and financial information. However, instead of winning a giveaway, their personal and financial information gets stolen instead.
Scammers pretend to be a celebrity or a business that is hosting a giveaway to their lucky fans! All they need to do is like their page, like their post, give away a bunch of their personal information, and also give them their financial information.
A victim follows these steps, thinking that they might win big if their favorite celebrity or business would just notice them. Then all of a sudden, they get that message they’ve been waiting for. Once the information is provided, the scammer steals their money and identity and blocks their victim off their page.
How to Avoid Facebook Live Scams
- Never provide your personal or financial information to a Facebook page or to someone online in order to win a contest.
- If there’s an unverified page offering a giveaway with a live video of a celebrity, report it immediately and assume it is a scam.
- Always look for a blue verification checkmark to make sure that a celebrity or a business page is legit.
- Don’t assume each live Facebook video is real, especially ones with a celebrity in it unless it’s on a verified page.
- If someone you just met online asks to communicate outside of Facebook on another app, don’t do it and report them immediately.
- Report any scam you encounter to Facebook and to the FTC.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you think you’ve been a victim of Facebook Live scams.