News

Is Social Media Scamming You?

2r540qkmqq0ohwn9beo0+istock_000021963294large

Cyber criminals will use whatever they can think of to get your online banking credentials or other information they can sell on the dark web. Here are five ways they use social media to do it and how you can avoid giving up your information, in no particular order.

Enticing links

They use the comments to news articles and popular posts on Facebook by adding their own posts with a conveniently clickable link included. Those who click the link may be taken to fake websites or presented a form for which the user is supposed to enter information. Often the links are accompanied by catchy headlines (click bait) themselves.

Fake customer service

They create fake customer service accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media that pretend to help customer. For example, they may see a Twitter user complaining about not being able to reach a representative. They reply to that user with a post that includes a link to another site where the user is led to believe he or she will get assistance. Unfortunately, the link really is phony and asks for login credentials and/or other sensitive information.

Fake discounts

They create social media accounts using names that sound like legitimate companies, such as Netflix and offer discounts. When users click links included in these, they are asked for account information or other details that can be sold.

Online surveys and polls

They use fake online surveys and polls to trick users into inputting information that can be later sold or used for fraud. An example is setting up a realistic news story and asking what users think. A link is included, naturally, but it goes to a fake site where personal information is requested. Often the “surveys” promise a chance to win a fabulous prize.

Login credentials for video

They pretend to offer live streaming of big events, such as the Olympics or other popular sporting events. Often they attach a link to a posted story about the event that is on Facebook. However, when the included links are clicked, a request for personal information appears claiming the video cannot play until they are entered.

Avoid these scams by not clicking links or putting information into any form that appears as a result of clicking links. If you need to reach your financial institution or other organization for any kind of support, contact them directly using information from their website that you have previously bookmarked. Alternately, type the name of the site into the browser manually.

Read more