You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has not created at least one social media profile. And with the large amounts of people present on social media, it makes sense that some bad eggs will likewise hold social media accounts. Unfortunately, scammers are not just sticking to phone calls or emails. Now, they are targeting individuals on their social media accounts.
As agents, we always recommend getting on social media to reach a greater audience, but we want you to be careful out there! Continue reading to learn the most common social media scams you may encounter and the ways to protect yourself.
Common Social Media Scams
Phishing. Many social media platforms allow you to integrate links into your posts, stories, messages, etc. However, some of those links might contain malware that can redirect you once you click on them to a website that steals your login credentials.
Dating Scams. Some people can create fake profiles with the intention of starting a friendship or relationship with other users to scam them out of money or personal information.
Online Stores. With the new shopping features added to social media platforms, plenty of online stores pop up in your feed. Unfortunately, some of these shops can be fake. They wait for you to click on their store link and, similar to phishing, will capture your sensitive information to commit theft.
Games and Quizzes. We have all seen those quizzes pop up on our social media feeds asking us to find out, “Which Game of Thrones Character Are you?” We even get invited to play some fun games. While these games and quizzes may be genuine, the personal information you input can be used against you by online scammers.
Spotting Social Media Scams
A few tell-tale signs exist to help you determine whether any post, profile, or message is genuine.
- The inception of the account.
- Follower count.
- Spelling and grammatical errors.
- Unsolicited, spammy messages.
- Requests for money.
- Too-good-to-be-true deals.
Above is a personal example from Empower Brokerage’s Facebook page. As you can see, this is a scammer pretending to be a member of the Meta Support Team. However, you can determine that they are not messaging us from a verified account and pushing us to click on a link. Bad actors commonly use this scare tactic to get users to click on the link and then have their information taken or to hack your account.
Ensure you always check out the account and do not click on any links from people you do not know.
Here are a few important things to remember when utilizing social media in a safe manner.
- Express caution when clicking on any links.
- Take advantage of multifactor authentication.
- Avoid accessing your accounts on a public Wi-Fi network.
- Never share too much personal information on your social media accounts or posts.
- Try to change your password for each social media account.
Ultimately, we do want you to create a presence on social media. But your safety is of the utmost importance to us. Navigate your social media accounts with caution and move forward with these tips to stay safe!
We hope that this information on social media scams is useful to you.
Empower Brokerage is dedicated to helping you make informed decisions about your health and finances. Whether it’s through webinar training, one-on-one calls, seminars, or marketing plans, we want you to be successful!
Give us a call at 888-539-1633 or leave a comment below if you have any questions.
Kayla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the marketing team at Empower Brokerage in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile