I recently heard something about a social media scam and decided to write about it.
Social media has become a daily part of our lives and scammers know it. They’re now using the platforms to try and take your money and many of them target older users. For example , I read a story of how a few stores offer coupons from Facebook, but some of these coupons are fake. Users either have to pay to get the coupon or give personal information. If the coupon is real, the coupon would also be featured on the retailer’s webpage.
You’ve likely seen this one before — the dreaded chain letter has returned. It may appear in the form of, “Retweet this and Bill Gates will donate $5 million to charity!” But hold on, let’s think about this. Bill Gates already does a lot for charity. Why would he wait for something like this to take action? Answer: He wouldn’t. Both the cause and claim are fake. So why would someone post this? Good question. It could be some prankster looking for a laugh, or a spammer needing “friends” to hit up later. Many well-meaning people pass these fake claims onto others. Break the chain and inform them of the likely ruse.
Pharming attacks are common online, and are essentially a phishing attack performed on a social network. For this type of scam, scammers will present a link to a familiar website. When a user clicks on the link they will be taken to a fake version of the site and will often be prompted to enter their login information from Facebook or some other site. Cyber crooks can then take those credentials and hijack their account.
Fraudulent accounts are also common across all social networking sites. Fraudulent accounts can range from impersonating a big brand all the way down to an old classmate. These fraudulent accounts will post links to malicious sites where users unknowingly expose themselves to identity theft, viruses, and spam. A common practice, if the account is impersonating a big brand, will be for the account to accumulate a large amount of likes and/or followers before changing their name to something else. Also, often time the impersonating accounts will use names very similar to the actual brand name simply adding “the,” “inc,” or a city name.
Although, most scams can be found across most social networking sites, certain scams are more common on certain platforms. A common scam found on Twitter is the direct message scam. Users will receive a direct message telling them to click on a link. When the user clicks on the link their computer will be infected with malware.
Two common scams found on Facebook include the profile viewer tracking offer and clickjacking. When it comes to profile viewer tracker on Facebook, it is important to know, Facebook does not offer this and there is no program available for this either. When users attempt to download one of these programs, they are likely infecting their computer with malware.