social media scams

The most common social media scams plaguing the internet today

May 27, 2019

With a constant march towards digitalization, social media has received increased significance. Social media reliance is no more a unique phenomenon. However, as is with every new thing, social media has its own set of risks. In the context of social media, the risk of scams and frauds prevail all the time. Users are usually asked to provide their personal and important information. With an intention to harm the users monetarily, major scams usually undertake fraudulent activities. Cybercrime, identity theft, sending malicious links, etc., are just some of the scams that plague the internet right now. It is better to be safe than sorry, so here are some of the most common scams you will find online and know to avoid.

Lottery scams

This type of scam entices you by saying you have won a certain amount. The amount is usually disproportionally large. These scams happen online when visiting certain websites, via email, and even via SMS and regular texting. A person usually needs to send in some identifying information to be able to continue towards getting the reward. But remember that if you haven’t entered to win something, you can’t win it. And if something seems too good to be true like winning $1 million, it usually isn’t.

Catfishing/ Impersonation

One of the most common scams plaguing the internet today is impersonating someone. Catfishing is when you impersonate someone and lead the other person to believe that you are someone else and not yourself. This scam often happens on social media platforms and dating apps or websites. Be wary of people who use pictures of celebrities. Reverse Google search someone’s picture to make sure they are the same person. And if they insist on meeting in person and push you to do it, consider it a major red flag.

Nigerian Prince scam

The Nigerian Prince scam is the subject of many jokes on the internet. However, there are still quite a few people who fall prey to this scam. This scam usually manifests as a foreign national offering you a certain sum of money for transferring money from their home country to somewhere else. The target usually has to pay some sort of fee for the transfer and gets swindled out of their money. The best way is to lock down your social media profiles to avoid people messaging you randomly. Also, if you are being offered a large sum for something fishy, it probably is.

Plea for help scams

Such type of a scam usually comes as someone requiring help. The scammer might be posing as someone you know or a stranger. You might get a message asking for some small amount of money to help them come to their home country. However, you should first find out if it is actually someone you know. A lot of the times, these are fake accounts or hacked accounts which pose as people in distress to elicit money from the targets.

While these are just a few of the scams doing the rounds on the internet right now, it is necessary to be aware of such scams. Never give out your personal details, banking details or any other identifying information. Social media is just as much a curse as it is a boon, so tread carefully


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