Reports point to rampant investment, romance, and online shopping scams on social media platforms. People reported losing the most money to investment scams (particularly those involving bogus cryptocurrency investments) and romance scams. However, these are just a few to name.
More than a third of the people who lost money to romance scams said it started on Facebook or Instagram.** However, fraudsters also utilize LinkedIn to capture a one’s previous work history and current roles. In doing, they may be able to use this information to access bank accounts and open other accounts or apply for loans in the victims name.
No matter the social media platform, scammers are out to steal any information they can to use for their benefit. It is important to be aware of these scams and protect yourself from becoming the victim of identity theft.
Here are ways to protect yourself from social media scams:*
- Try to limit who can see your posts and information on social media.
- Do not share your live location or post about daily routines.
- Lessen about of information in the “about” section.
- Don’t accept requests from people you do not recognize.
- Reevaluate your “Friends” or “Connections” list.
- Check if you can opt out of targeted advertising.
- If you see urgent messages from a “friend” asking for money, stop. It could be a hacker behind that post pretending to be your friend.
- Check out a company before you make a purchase.
- Don’t deal with a vendor that requires payment by cryptocurrency, gift card, or wire transfer. It is likely a scam.
If you see or experience scam on social media, report it to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.