Social media is great for connecting with old friends or long-lost family members or even making new friends. But are those people really who they say they are?
Social media platforms are rampant with scammers and fraudsters. In 2021, 95,000 people reported about $700 million in losses from scams started on social media.1 The top three social media scams involve investment opportunities, romance, and online shopping.
Social media scammers are good at what they do. They might steal an actual family member’s or friend’s photo and set up a fake account. Then they send you a friend request. It looks legitimate, but it’s far from it.
Your new friend then begins developing a personal relationship and eventually asks for money for an emergency.
And then your friend shares a great product for you to buy. Of course, the product never shows up and your money is gone.
Or your friend sends you a great financial opportunity you need to get in on right now. You make an investment and never see your money again.
So what can you do?
- Keep your information on social media private. Check your privacy settings often to make sure nothing has changed.
- If a long-lost friend or relative shows up, do your due diligence to confirm they are who they say they are.
- If a friend needs help or money, call them.
- Be wary of someone pushing to start an online romantic relationship.
- Before buying something online, check out the company and reviews.
- Subscribe to ID Shield. ID Shield includes dark web monitoring, identity restoration, SSN notifications and more.
Seniors are most vulnerable to these types of scams. Please share this information with your older friends and family members and remind them of what they have always told us. “Don’t talk to strangers.”
1Data Spotlight, FTC.gov, January 25, 2022