Have you ever gotten a random friend request from someone you didn’t know? Did someone follow you on Instagram randomly and are now persistent in messaging you and getting to know you? Scammers are flooding social media platforms at lightning speed rates, trying to scam anyone they can out of their hard-earned money. Many of these scammers use other people’s profits as their income to live and will do whatever it takes to make their salary. They create fake profiles using stolen images from social media influencers, and many people believe that these profiles are real. So how can you tell it’s a social media scam? Keep scrolling to find out how to avoid social media scams.
Tips on How to Avoid Social Media Scams
Tip #1: Avoid Forming an Online Relationship with Someone You Don’t Know
Have you ever gotten a random message from someone asking if they could be your friend because of how gorgeous you are? This is a typical sign of a romance scammer. They will make you feel special by claiming that you are the most gorgeous person they have ever seen. However, they have also told 99 victims before you that as well.
They do this so that they can build a fake relationship with you and gain your trust so that you would want to help them with anything they need. Then, they will claim that they have an emergency in which they need money from you. Once you send them the money, it is nearly impossible to get it back. This is why it is just best to stay away from people you don’t know online.
Tip #2: Don’t Send Anyone Your Personal or Financial Information Online
Did one of your friends message you claiming they need money, even though you barely message them at all? This is due to scammers hacking their social media account and asking random people on their friend’s list for money. They also create fake profiles and claim that they love you or have an investment opportunity in order to trick you out of your funds. Even though the majority of them ask for money, there are also scammers that ask people for their personal information.
They can take this information and commit identity fraud with it by opening up credit cards, accessing your bank account, or finding any hidden funds you might have. All they need is information as simple as a security question answer, a birthday, a phone number, or a social security number in order to access these confidential details. This is why it is important to keep any personal information to yourself.
Tip #3: Block Anyone That Asks You to Invest in Their Investment Opportunity
Anyone that claims that you can make your money back guaranteed in an investment opportunity is trying to scam you. Actual investment opportunities have a high risk and there is no guarantee that you will get your money back. However, with investment scams, they will claim that all you need to do is put some money in and make triple back guaranteed without any risks.
Once you put the money in, scammers will steal it and give you nothing in return. They will usually ask you to send them payments through gift cards, wire transfers, or Bitcoin so that your payment will be untraceable and it would be nearly impossible to get your money back.
Tip #4: Avoid Any Phishing Links That Slide Into Your DM’s or Show Up on Your News Feed
If you have noticed any random links sliding into your DM’s or popping up on your News Feed, avoid them at all costs. These random links can range from a fake online store to a fake online form, claiming that you won something. Once you click on the links, most of the time they will download malware without you even realizing it. Then, the websites will come up with excuses as to why they need your personal and/or financial information.
Sometimes, it will claim that you need to purchase the item you want, and other times it will claim that it needs your information because you won a contest. No matter what the reason is, it’s just an excuse for scammers to get your hands on your money and personal information. They can then drain your bank account and commit identity theft with it.
Tip #5: Perform a Reverse Search with Social Catfish!
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 are wondering how to avoid social media scams. If you have ever been a victim of a scam, report it to the FTC for more resources on how to recover after you’ve been scammed.