BBB Talking Points – Social Media Scams

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Be wary of online messages

Do some research

Press for details

Report suspicious activity to Facebook.

Intro: Plenty of people who are connected to the internet are catching up with friends on social media or randomly surfing the web. Unfortunately, so are scammers. Here to offer tips on protecting yourself on social media from your Better Business Bureau.

How does this Scam Work?

There are several versions usually involving Facebook Messenger. A phony profile that seems like they are your friend shares an amazing deal with you. To benefit you need to select the link or share the deal. If you take part, you only have to pay a small processing fee.

In another version, the “friend” claims to be raising money for a charity to support emergency personnel, a food bank or some other organization that has really been hit hard by the pandemic. They’ll push for a donation and yet, it sounds suspicious.

A third version is circulating where the “friend” believes their account has been ‘hacked’ and to friend them on a new request. Turns out, they were not hacked at all. The profile is publicly visible and copied by a cyber thief who then creates a new profile and is now sending out new friend requests to a bogus account.

BBB warns everyone before responding to such a request, check that the Facebook profile image is from who it says it is. Or, go the extra step and call, text, or email the friend to see if they really did send it to you.

 How do you protect yourself from Facebook Scams?

  • Be wary of online messages. A person may be trustworthy in real life, but online accounts can be hacked. Take a closer look before sharing, applying, or donating. Go to Give.org to verify a charity.
  • Do some research. If you can’t find a website, it’s most likely a fake. If you can find a website, look for contact information. No contact info is a red flag.
  • Press for details. Ask strategic questions without giving any personal information to confirm you are actually talking to someone you know.
  • Report suspicious activity to Facebook. You can report scammers to Facebook to help protect your real friends and family from a scam. You can reduce the risk of having your profile impersonated by tightening up your privacy settings and hiding your Friends list.

You can always find more information at bbb.org