It’s not a secret that social media plays an important role in the way we communicate. In fact, over 56% of the global population uses it to some degree. With so many people online, social media is an attractive playground for scammers seeking to exploit unsuspecting users. Keep reading to learn how you can protect yourself on social media and see examples of popular scams you might encounter.
How you can protect yourself when using social media:
Create strong and unique passwords. One of the simplest yet most effective ways to enhance your social media safety is by creating strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdates or common words. Instead, use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.
Enable multifactor authentication. Multifactor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by forcing the user to confirm their identity when trying to sign in. It usually involves receiving a code on your mobile device or email that you must enter along with your password when logging in. This ensures that even if someone manages to obtain your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the second factor. If you receive a multifactor identifier message when you aren’t trying to log in, that’s an indication someone is trying to access your account.
Be wary of suspicious links and messages. Scammers often send deceptive messages and links on social media platforms. These messages may appear to be from friends or trusted sources but could lead you to malicious websites or request sensitive information. Always verify the sender’s identity and avoid clicking on links from unfamiliar sources.
Adjust your privacy settings. Social media platforms offer privacy settings that allow you to control who can see your posts, send you friend requests or contact you. Review and adjust these settings to limit your exposure to unknown individuals and protect your personal information.
Regularly update software and apps. Keeping your operating system, web browsers and social media apps up to date is crucial. Developers frequently release security patches and updates to address vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.
Examples of popular scams include:
Phishing is the practice in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in an email or other form of communication to trick users into giving their personal information or login credentials. Be cautious of messages or emails urging you to click on links or share sensitive data. Be on the lookout for red flags like misspelled URLs, generic greetings or unusual requests. If you have any doubts, verify the source of the message by reaching out to the person or company independently before taking any action.
Fraudulent contests and promotions are prevalent on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and X (formally Twitter.) Avoid falling victim to these scams by paying attention to the legitimacy of the hosting account or page. Established brands or verified accounts are generally more trustworthy. Additionally, be cautious of requests for excessive personal information or monetary transactions to claim your prize.
Fraudsters establish emotional connections with their victims, only to exploit them financially. These scams often occur on dating apps as well as social media platforms. Protect yourself by being cautious when someone you’ve just met online professes their love quickly or asks for financial assistance. Avoid sharing personal or financial information with strangers, and always prioritize your safety by meeting potential partners in public places.
Impersonation scams involve creating fake social media profiles that mimic trusted individuals or organizations. Scammers will attempt to deceive users into sharing sensitive information, sending money or engaging in other fraudulent activities. Stay vigilant by verifying the authenticity of profiles before engaging in conversations or transactions. Look for inconsistencies in the profile information, such as suspicious contact details or a limited online presence. Report any impersonation attempts to the platform administrators.
Facebook Marketplace Scam
This scam involves the fraudster approaching a seller on Facebook Marketplace pretending to be interested in items for sale. They will ask for the seller’s phone number to discuss the purchase further. The scammer will then use the victim’s phone number to create a Google Voice account. To verify this account, the scammer will need the multifactor authentication code that the seller receives. If the seller provides the scammer with the code, the scammer will be able to set up a Google Voice account in the victim’s name and use that number to engage in other scams.
While there are many benefits of using social media, it’s important to remain vigilant of things that seem too good to be true or suspicious in any way. If you think you have fallen victim to financial fraud related to your Credit Human accounts, contact us for assistance at 800-688-7228.