Social media scams to look out for

04 Dec
December 4, 2014

The use of social media has shot through the roof lately with millions of people signing up for sites like Twitter and Facebook to keep updated with all the latest and ‘socialise’ with others. While various measures are taken to secure your account, people will always find loopholes in the system and won’t hesitate to take advantage of them if they think they can profit themselves.

Here are a few scams which you need to look out for in order to protect your account:

1) Cash Grabs: When someone sends you a friend request, you usually simply accept their invite. However, be careful of who you accept as they may be simply looking to scam you by making their profile look attractive, leading you to accept their invite. If you have no mutual friends and can’t recognise the person, then consider staying away from them. They may be simply looking into scamming you by asking you for some cash. Some of these scammers may have infiltrated one of your real friends’ computers with malware which will get hold of all of their contacts and forwards a message/email to the rest of the contacts, without their knowledge. In this message the scammer will urgently ask for some money. This message will be sent by the hacker, acting as your friend hoping one of their contacts will fall for the scam.
2) Hidden Charges: For this scam, you will be tempted into participating in a quiz which all your friends supposedly took something along the lines of “What type of footballer are you? Take our quiz now and compare you answers with your friends’!” You’ll then give them your mobile number, after which you will receive a text message which you have to pay for! You may have also just subscribed to a service which charges a monthly fee.
3) Phishing Requests: This scam will tempt you into clicking on an enclosed link such as a picture, supposedly of you: ‘Look at how ridiculous you look in this photo!’ After clicking you will be asked to enter your account information, meaning the scammer now has your social media password as well as control of your account. The reason why people don’t realise they’ve been hacked is because the link you would have clicked from Facebook/Twitter will take you to a fake page which looks exactly like the social media site. This type of attack is called phishing.
These are very common attacks which are circulating the net at the moment. Always double check suspicious links/contact requests or anything which looks too good to be true.

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