Social Media Scams are on the Rise

by tylercook on January 23, 2013

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With the Internet’s increase in popularity, using social media and online communities has become commonplace for everyone from business owners to family members looking to stay in touch with one another. When you have a social media account, avoiding scams and potential theft attempts is still necessary to keep your identity protected as well as your personal information and sensitive data. There are many social media scams currently making their rounds today, so it is important to understand how to best protect yourself to avoid losing money, access to your online accounts or your personal information that can be used against you in the future.

Banking Scams

If you receive an email or a message on your social media accounts and you are unsure of who it was sent by, it is important to avoid clicking links you are unfamiliar with and have not been to in the past. Some scams that target social media accounts send messages to random members of a community claiming to need assistance, offering monetary rewards to use your bank account during the process.

Promotional Scams

Promotional scams are another way to phish online social media accounts while also attempting to gain “online fans” and more page views to websites that are not legitimate. If an offer seems “too good to be true” online when you are browsing through your social networking accounts, it probably is and should not be explored any further.

Phishing Attempts

Phishing attempts happen when hackers and thieves create mock pages that closely resemble the social networking websites you log into each day. However, the URL of the website is often similar but not identical to the official website. It is important to always check the URLs of the websites you are browsing to ensure you are using the right website before logging, entering personal information or even making a purchase.

Subscription Scams

If you receive a message from an unknown sender pretending to be a representative of a company or the company itself asking for payment information to keep your social media accounts running, this should be reported and is most likely a scam. Never give personal information out unless you are using an authorized website from the official social network you are registered on. Most social networks are entirely free of charge and do not depend on subscription costs. Many subscription scams threaten to shut down accounts that do not respond, although this is not true. Simply reporting the user can help with stopping them from attempting to gain financial access to your family and friends’ accounts.

How to Protect Yourself From Social Media Scams

Protecting yourself from social media scams can be done by ensuring you are always using official websites and avoiding any links that look unfamiliar or sketchy. Learning to navigate online without the risk of giving away personal information is done by being self-aware of the sites that you are using and conducting enough research on new websites or companies that you are interested in shopping when when browsing online.

Always research websites before you enter in personal data, credit card information or any type of details that can link back to you personally when browsing online.

Understanding all of the social media scams that are making their rounds can help you to better protect yourself when you are browsing online and using the networks yourself. The more informed you are with how to browse safely online, the less likely you are to become a victim of another scam which can potentially interrupt your life financially and emotionally.

Byline: April writes on everything social media related, whether it be about social media safety, new online date USA sites, or social networking manners.




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