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Scrolling through Facebook and liking pictures on Instagram has become a part of our daily routines. The rise of social media means the rise of social media scams.     

Social media scams are becoming increasingly more prevalent. These scams can come in many forms such as online romances, social phishing, and clickbait articles just to name a few.

Online Romances

Many relationships now start on social media. Scammers that use this trick will create a fake profile with fake pictures and information to meet people on the internet. They will try to develop a relationship with their target and then will suddenly be in desperate need of money and ask the target to send them large sums of money.

Social Phishing

Have you received a suspicious direct message on Facebook from a friend, cousin, mom, or sibling that says, “Check out this video, I think you are in it,”? Typically, that is a scam. The person’s Facebook account was hacked, and a hacker is using this link to gain information from you by pulling profile information when you click on the link.

Clickbait Articles

The random articles you see on social media about a ‘celebrity that just got plastic surgery’ or a ‘new weight loss pill that works like magic’ are typically scams. These juicy headlines can intrigue you to click in and read more. When you click on these links it can bring you to a fake login screen that appears to be from the app that you are on and when you enter your credentials the hacker gains access to your login information and any private information on your profile. 

Although there is no way to guarantee that you won’t fall into a trap, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Less is more. Social media platforms can ask for a lot of personal information that you are not required to give. The less information you share, the less hackers will have access to if they do manage to get to your profile information.
  • Use two-factor authorization. Most social media platforms offer two-factor authorization which allows you to connect your account to your phone number or email and you will be sent a code via text to log in.
  • Be skeptical. Before clicking on any articles, accepting any new friend requests, or opening a direct message be sure you know and trust the source that it’s coming from. If it looks fishy, it probably is.

Continue to post pictures and have fun on social media, but always be aware of what you are clicking on.