Social Media Scams

Social media has become a tool that we are using more and more in our business and personal life. As social media usage increases, social media scams increase too, and at times it can be hard to spot the scams. Social media accounts are being used for identity theft and to also contact you directly regarding a once in a life time proposal.

Over the past few weeks I have had seven scammers contact me via three of my social media accounts and only one of them appeared genuine. When it comes to scams on social media they all use the premise that they want you to add them as a friend or a contact. Once you have added them as a friend or contact one of three scams will take place via one of your social media accounts.

The first scam is probably the most common one and it occurs on Twitter. One of your tweets gets retweeted with the retweeter then following you. You will then get tweets from your new follower offering to either get you ten thousand new followers or get your account verified by twitter for only $20.

If you agree to accept the proposal offered you will have your account banned by twitter as you will have boosted the number of followers you have to quickly plus the new followers that you have acquired will probably not be real accounts. If you are hoping to get your account verified so it has a blue tick beside it, you will have wasted money as you can only be verified by twitter. There is also a good chance that you also have given away your financial payment details resulting in money getting taken from your Credit/Debit Cards and your PayPal accounts.

The second scam takes place on Facebook and it involves you getting a friends request from someone that you don’t know or who is a friend of one of your friends. The person who wants to follow will be a female who claims to live in your country or a neighbouring country. Their account will not have much information bar a picture of a good looking female and their name. The picture is meant to entice you in so that you allow them to be a friend, and once this is done the fun and games will begin.

The scammer now has more access to any information you have on your Facebook account and they may want to steal your information so that it can be used to create fake identities online and also in the real world. They may also want to scam you out of money and start to seduce you online. If they succeed they will then start asking you for money to help them pay some bills or to help fund travel expenses for them so that they can visit you.

The third scam is the one where you can easily get caught out and it only takes place on Linkedin. This scam involves someone who has an account on Linkedin and they want to connect with you. Their profile will state that they work for a well-known company and that they are connected with friends of yours and this is meant to reassure you that they are trustworthy. Once they are connected you will notice that their account has limited information and the only picture you will see is a fuzzy photo of them or a logo of the company they claim to work for.

The scammer will now send you a direct message via Linkedin offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity. This once in a lifetime opportunity is a clone of the African scam emails and they know that if even a small amount of people respond they will have made their money.

It is worth noting that Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter are not to blame for any scams that occur.  Anytime someone you don’t know contacts you via social media be very wary. Google them and if they say they work for a certain company or claim to know a friend of yours check with the company and your friends to verify this. If their account is sparse with very little detail then stay away as you have no way of verifying who they really are. If you want to get followers on Twitter, follow the hints and tips of people like the Tweeting Goddess. Their hints and tips will help you gain Twitter followers honestly and also safely.

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