Social media has become an essential part of many people’s lives, as it can be used to connect with friends and family, keep up to date with local and national news, and stay on top of viral trends. However, the accessibility and vastness of social media can also lead to security issues, especially when it comes to your personal and financial security.
Websites and apps like Facebook, X, TikTok, Reddit, Instagram, and LinkedIn (among many others) give you the opportunity to connect with people all across the world. However, if you need a refresher on simple online security, here are a few social media scams to watch out for:
Deceptive online quizzes.
Mostly seen on apps like Facebook, these quizzes are designed to collect your personal information once you’ve clicked on them. Any information you have on your Facebook account, whether it’s personal or financial, may be compromised by these programs. Any meme or quiz that asks you personal questions may be phishing your information for password security questions.
Cryptocurrency investment schemes.
According to the FTC, in 2021, more than half of the people who reported losses with investment scams claimed the scam started on social media. Keep in mind that authentic companies generally will not insist on cryptocurrency as a valid payment method.
Fake celebrity accounts.
Many social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have a ‘verified’ icon that celebrities and famous names can use to show they are who they say they are. But that still means people can create accounts pretending to be celebrities, especially on X where anyone can purchase the verification symbol. Keep an eye out if these accounts reach out to you directly and purport to be a celebrity.
Romance or long-distance friendship scams.
While it’s not uncommon to befriend people you’ve met through social media, romance and friendship scams are still popular on these apps. Be cautious of anyone reaching out to you directly asking for money – no matter how well-intentioned, it could easily be a financial scam.